Wed. Feb 21st, 2024

More video of fatal Tyre Nichols traffic stop released by city of Memphis

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — The city of Memphis released 44 more videos Tuesday morning showing the Jan. 7, 2023 traffic stop that led to the death of Tyre Nichols.

► Link to watch the videos

The release comes more than a year after police initially released footage of the brutal beating during a traffic stop in Hickory Hill. Nichols died in a hospital a few days later and several MPD officers face criminal charges.

More documents will be released in 14 days, a city spokesperson said.

“Obviously, this is painful for all of us,” Mayor Paul Young said in a statement. “The release of this material – the additional video and audio files released today, and the documents that will be released soon – will be an important step in the continued healing of our community. We expect to be able to release the documents beginning in two weeks. As this is an ongoing legal matter, there is nothing else we can add at this time, but we do hope this release shows that we are committed to continued transparency.”

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Video No. 10 is a new view from an officer-worn body camera. In it, officers are gathered around Nichols, seen lying on the ground at the corner of Castlegate Lane and Bear Creek Lane, until he is carried a few feet to a police vehicle and propped up against it.

The officer wearing the camera — identified by the video’s title as Demetrius Haley — describes the encounter, as other officers fist-bump.

According to the officer’s account on the video, Nichols was weaving into oncoming traffic, and swerved as if he was going to hit a police cruiser. He then stopped at a red light and put on his blinker.

When police stopped him at the light, the officer says Nichols took a swing, grabbed at the officer’s gun and ran.

He claims Nichols was “high as a kite” and “strong,” and that Nichols had been pepper sprayed and Tased but continued running.

“He on something bad,” the officer says. “We lit him up. He didn’t want to stop. We did what we did to get (unintelligible) to stop.”

About 20 minutes into the video, someone addresses Nichols by name and asks if he is OK. He is then loaded into an ambulance.

It’s unclear whether the officer’s account is corroborated by fact — the beginning of the initial traffic stop is not captured in the 44 videos released Tuesday, and none of videos appear to show reckless driving.

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Video 12 shows former Memphis Police Officer Tadarrius Bean’s view from his body camera. In the video, you can hear an officer saying, “I seen you tackle him, I was like **** I gotta get in this fight.”

Later, you can hear someone else saying, “It’ll be justified” before someone else says “We need to go ahead and call us in for this one.”

That is when another officer replied, “Mane ***, I wasn’t even supposed to be out here.”

The subject began to change and an officer then proceeded to say, “Mane listen, everybody rocking his ***.”

Another officer laughed and agreed saying, “I said hold on, ‘whop whop whop bruh please fall’.” That is when another officer says, “I thought he was gone fall off the last one I gave his ***. I said bro we ’bout to kill his ***.”

You can hear the paramedics in the back constantly saying “Aye man” to Tyre Nichols, attempting to get him to talk and asking him questions. You then hear someone say, “Yeah, he’s showing signs of low oxygen.”

In the video, you can see paramedics attempting to give Nichols treatment as he is leaning to the side with his back against a car. He is then placed in the ambulance and taken to the hospital.

Video 13a view from Officer Preston Hemphill’s camera at the initial traffic stop on Raines Road and Ross Road, shows officers pull Nichols out of his Nissan Sentra as he is stopped at the light, saying, “Get the *** out the *** car.”

Nichols gets out saying, “I didn’t do anything.”

The officers order Nichols to the ground as he gets on the ground, saying “Alright, alright, alright.” Officers continue to yell as he lays on the pavement, one saying “I will Tase your ***.”

He turns around and calmly says, “Stop. Please stop.” An officer says , “I’m gonna knock your *** out.”

As he is on the ground, officers continue to order him down, one saying, “Man if you don’t lay down … “

“I am on the ground,” Nichols tells them emphatically. A few seconds later, he is Tased. He runs away on foot as officers pursue.

An hour into the video, Hemphill encounters Nichols’ parents, who are standing on the sidewalk. They say their son was on his way to their home, two blocks from the intersection.

“This is my son right here, and I was just trying to find out what’s going on,” RowVaughn Wells says to Hemphill.

He answers that her son was pulled over by police, he ran from them, and they found him again at the red light, where he fought with officers and was pepper-sprayed and took off running.

“My son? Not Tyre,” she says. She tells Hemphill that Tyre doesn’t drink and just smoked “a little weed.”

“From the way he was fighting, he had to be on something,” Hemphill says.

“That just don’t sound like my son, I’m sorry,” Wells says.

In Video 34a female officer can be heard discussing what she witnessed with another worker. “You should have seen him,” she stated.

Speaking on the officers involved, she added, “They don’t give a [expletive]. I used to work with the big guy. He didn’t give a [expletive].”

She uttered, “They’re a little too–.” The male worker chimed in, “Hands-on,” to which she agreed.

“It’s like they’re trying to up one,” said the female officer. “Like dude– pepper spray, taser. It’s not even a felony. You’ve got to be smarter. How are you using your pepper spray and then tasing him? What the [expletive].”

When discussing her position on the force, she said, “Imagine if I would have taken the SCORPION, I would have been pissed.”

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Civil rights attorneys Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci, who are representing Tyre Nichols’ family in a $550 million civil lawsuit against the city of Memphis, say they are reviewing the newly released footage.

“As our legal team reviews the new body cam video of Tyre Nichols’ horrific death at the hands of Memphis Police, we expect the videos to affirm what we have said from day one: that there was absolutely no justification for the officers’ brutal and inhumane actions. We will continue our unflinching look at this tragedy and stand strongly with Tyre’s family in their continued grief and fight for justice,” they said in a statement.

Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy said his office has always favored release of the videos, provided it did not compromise the investigation.

“We won’t comment on its probative value but are confident overall that the charges filed are appropriate and that we can prove our case,” Mulroy said. “We’re determined to see that justice is done for Tyre Nichols.”

 

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