On Friday, authorities released video of a violent altercation between Memphis police and Tyre Nichols, who died in the days after being stopped for reckless driving.
On January 7th, Nichols was apprehended for driving recklessly; however, during the altercation with the police, he was severely hurt and rushed to a medical center, where he passed away three days later.
The video captured from body cameras and a street camera nearby displays Nichols attempting to escape from the officers who chased him down, used a taser on him, uttered profanities at him, and hit and kicked him, leaving him in a disoriented and bleeding state. A policeman can be heard shouting, “Give me your f—— hands!” and “I’m going to baton the f— out of you!” Nichols was heard calling out for his mother throughout the altercation. Nichols was eventually given medical attention.
The released video has sparked protests in Memphis, Washington DC, and many other places. On top of this, protesters blocked a highway in Memphis and gathered in Atlanta and Times Square.
The identities of the five Memphis police officers involved in the incident have been revealed as Desmond Mills, Emmitt Martin, Justin Smith, Tadarrius Bean, and Demetrius Haley. These officers were terminated and face charges such as second-degree murder, as reported by Fox News.
Sheriff Floyd Bonner, Jr. of Shelby County, declared that he had opted to initiate an internal probe after viewing the video.
Bonner posted on Twitter, “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,”
Bonner added, “I have launched an internal investigation into the conduct of these deputies to determine what occurred and if any policies were violated. Both of these deputies have been relieved of duty pending the outcome of this administrative investigation.”
As reported by Law and Crime, Civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump has compared the case to the Rodney King case of the 1990s. In Rodney King’s case, he lived, and the officers involved were white, whereas, in Memphis, the officers were black. Despite the differences, both cases began with a traffic violation that led to a savage beating of the men.