Video has been released of five officers savagely beating on Tyre Nichols and public response has been overwhelming.
Police bodycam footage was released by the Memphis Police Department on Friday, Jan. 27, weeks after five MPD officers beat, punched and stomped the 29-year-old after a traffic stop on Jan. 7. The man would succumb to his injuries from the altercation on Tuesday, Jan. 10.
In video 1, as the officers, all Black men, pull him out, Nichols can be heard saying, “I didn’t do anything,” as he was dragged out of his car.
They tell him to get on the ground and he appears to comply, but they yell at him to turn on his stomach. The police seem to be gathered around him, making it hard to make out everything transpiring, but as he says, “I’m not doing anything,” he is tased. After this he gets up and runs and the officers follow him.
A second video shows an aerial view of the actual beating. Nichols is first on the ground enduring the kicking and hitting, but when he is on his feet officers are punching him and pulling him as he seems to stagger in their custody. His arms are behind his back as they keep assaulting him. At one point he falls, and several of the men seem to use their bodies to keep him down. This happens as one officer comes up and kicks Nichols.
After the violent police-involved attack, he is dragged and left to lie in the street before being placed in a police patrol vehicle.
The video swept through the internet causing many to speak out. Celebrity voices joined the sea of people calling for justice and police reform.
“I wish I can unSee the footage. Lord Jesus, our people are really in trouble. Lord have mercy,” Tamar Braxton tweeted.
Rapper Plies tweeted about the lack of outrage by many Americans, writing, “Help Me Figure Dis Out: A Professional Athlete Gets Injured On National TV & It Brings The Country Together(Rightfully So). A Black Man Gets Pulled Over, Snatched Out The Car & Beat To Death By Police Officers On Camera. It Only Trends For A Hr. What Does This Say Bout America??”
He also gave his opinions on the confrontation, when asked about why the man did not just lie down. His explanation was simple: Nichols kept getting up because “it hurts” to get beaten.
Another rapper, JT from The City Girls, said the officers should be offered no bond, after calling the video “heartbreaking.”
“The video of tyre is heartbreaking….. #JusticeforTyreNichols they should not have a bond! No excuses,” she tweeted.
Hip-hop socialite and performing artist Reginae Carter also chimed in asking one question: “When you are Black WHO TF DO YOU CALL FOR SAFETY? The f##king police will kill us first so you can’t call them! This sh#t is sick!!!!”
DL Hughley also commented on many calling the beating Black on Black violence saying, “5 Black cops beating #TyreNichols to death ain’t #BlackOnBlack crime it’s #BlueOnBlack crime!”
He also stated, “The killing of black people in public view is as American as apple pie!”
Memphis artist NLE Choppa said he thinks the video should not have been released and encouraged people to stay “in the vibration of love.”
“I’ll never respect how footage is released of something so gruesome to keep people vibrating in the state of fear, anger, and hate! It should be way more respect for his innocent soul and even his FAMILY. What happened to rest in “PEACE” SMFH !! #RIPTyreNichols”
TV host and personality AJ Calloway said in a lengthy message, “This is the most heinous vantage of the cops viciously beating the handcuffed and unarmed Tyre Nichols. Without this light post-camera footage, I don’t believe anyone would be able to truly see how horrible this act was.”
Filmmaker and philanthropist Tyler Perry took to Instagram and confessed said he would not reply for the sake of his “own sanity,” and his “hope for what’s left of the human race, I would not watch the awful murder of another Black man,” but he did.
“I wanted to have the luxury of many people in the world who can just turn it off with ease. Many people can’t imagine it happening to them because honestly, it never will. I was determined to see what that space felt like for once, I would cover my ears and not let in the outside. I knew it wasn’t possible because when some people hate the outside it doesn’t matter what’s on the inside even if what’s in there looks like them,” he wrote.
Instead, he said, he would “cry,” become “depressed,” “curse” and “be outraged.”
“I will want to burn some sh-t up, I will be in agony, I will let my heart break for his family, I will moan with his tenor harmony from my own experience that is every Black man that’s ever called for the safety of the arms of mamma, I will inaudibly scream,” he said, before adding, “Somewhere in the wrestling between the moon and the sun for the right to deliver light as if one is good and the other is evil, in that hour, I will get quiet, then I will be still, I will weep, and then I will pray.”
Perry finally shared, “With the morning light, no matter who tried to dim it… I will get up and I will fight on!”
Emotions continued to fly high. On Thursday, Jan. 26, the day before the release of the videos to the public, The officers in the video have been indicted and charged with a range of offenses in connection with the encounter.
Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr., and Justin Smith were all fired and charged with second-degree murder and aggravated assault. They were also charged with two counts of aggravated kidnapping, two counts of official misconduct, and official oppression.