PUSH NEWS 24 INTERNATIONAL: January 27th, 2023
Officials in Memphis, Tennessee, released dramatic body camera footage Friday of the fatal confrontation between Tyre Nichols and five police officers.
Nichols can be heard screaming “mom” several times during the gut-wrenching clips, which appear to show officers beating and pepper-spraying him after he ran from a traffic stop arrest.
Nichols died at the age of 29 on Jan. 10, three days after the violent confrontation.
The five Memphis Police Department officers involved in his arrest — Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith — were fired and then charged with second-degree murder in connection with Nichols’ death.
‘We continue to urge caution,’ lawyer for one of accused in Nichols case says
The attorney representing former Memphis Police Officer Desmond Mills, one of the five charged in Tyre Nichols’ death, released a statement saying the videos “produced as many questions as they have answers,” Blake Ballin, an attorney for Mills said.
“Some of the questions that remain will require a focus on Desmond Mills’s individual actions; on what Desmond knew and what he was able to see when he arrived late to the scene; on what Desmond knew and what he was able to see after he was pepper sprayed; and on whether Desmond’s actions crossed the lines that were crossed by other officers during this incident,” Ballin said.
“We continue to urge caution and patience in judging Desmond Mills’s actions. We are confident that the questions of whether Desmond crossed the lines that others crossed and whether he committed the crimes charged will be answered with a resounding no,” Ballin added.
Vice President Kamala Harris reacted to the footage of Nichols’ confrontation with police officers.
“Tyre Nichols should have made it home to his family. Yet, once again, America mourns the life of a son and father brutally cut short at the hands of those sworn to protect and serve,” she said in a statement. “The footage and images released tonight will forever be seared in our memories, and they open wounds that will never fully heal.”
Tyre Nichols’ family spoke exclusively with ABC News’ Elwyn Lopez following the release of the body camera footage of his encounter with police.
Rodney Wells, Nichols’ stepfather, said the footage justified that his son was not a threat to the officers.
For an individual to weigh 150 pounds and be brutalized by five officers, [it] is unheard of and we need the public to see it,” he told ABC News.
Wells also called for the prosecution of everyone who was seen in the video, including paramedics and other unidentified officers.
When asked about the part of the footage where Nichols was heard crying for his mother, RowVaughn Wells, she told ABC News that she wasn’t there for her son.
“I had this very bad stomach pain pit and I didn’t know what it was at the time that night,” she said. “I didn’t realize that I was feeling my son’s pain.”
Ben Crump, the attorney representing the family, said the video also raised more questions concerning the other officers who are seen confronting Nichols.
He also criticized the attitude of the first responders seen following the beating.
“They were so nonchalant about everything,” he said.
2 deputies at scene relieved of duties pending investigation
Following the footage’s release, two Shelby County sheriff’s deputies who were at the scene of the police confrontation have been relieved of their duties pending an investigation, the county’s sheriff announced.
“Having watched the videotape for the first time tonight, I have concerns about two deputies who appeared on the scene following the physical confrontation between police and Tyre Nichols,” Shelby County Sheriff Floyd Bonner Jr. said in a statement on Twitter.
Bonner said he has launched an internal investigation into their conduct “to determine what occurred and if any policies were violated.”
Both are relieved of duty pending the investigation’s outcome, he said.
additional reports @ ABC