Body camera video of the “heinous” beating of Tyre Nichols, who died after a bloody encounter with police earlier this month, will be released Friday evening, Memphis officials said.
Nichols, 29, died in the hospital on Jan. 10, three days after he sustained injuries at the hands of five officers during a traffic stop when they allegedly beat him like a “human piñata,” according to lawyers for his family.
The cops involved in the beating – Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith – had claimed the victim fled on foot after being pulled over for reckless driving.
All five were subsequently fired and surrendered to authorities on murder charges Thursday. Since that time all of the officers apart from Haley have posted bail of between $250,000 and $350,000 each and been released.
During a CNN appearance early Friday, Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn “C.J.” Davis said the footage of the incident provided no proof that Nichols violated traffic laws prior to being stopped.
“It doesn’t mean that something didn’t happen. But there’s no proof. The cameras didn’t pick up,” she told host Don Lemon.
Davis also admitted to ABC’s “Good Morning America” that “the stop itself was very questionable.”
In a video statement released Wednesday night, Davis described the beating as “heinous, reckless and inhumane.”
“I expect you to feel what the Nichols family feels,” she said.
“I expect you to feel outrage in the disregard of basic human rights, as our police officers have taken an oath to do the opposite of what transpired on the video.”
Read more of the Post’s coverage of Tyre Nichols’ beating death
While Davis acknowledged that Memphis residents should exercise their First Amendment right to protest, to demand action and results,” she warned against violent responses to the footage.
“None of this is a calling card for inciting violence or destruction on our community or our citizens,” she cautioned.
FedEx worker Nichols’ family members saw the body camera footage earlier this week. One of their attorneys, Ben Crump, compared the vicious encounter to the 1991 beating of Rodney King in Los Angeles.
“Our son ran because he was scared for his life,” Nichols’ stepfather Rodney Wells told reporters of the troubling footage.
“And when you see the video, you’ll see why he was scared for his life.”
During a Friday morning appearance on CBS2 News This Morning,” New York City Mayor Eric Adams called Nichols’ death “really concerning…on several fronts.”
“When a law enforcement officer participates in an unlawful act, that is extremely troubling,” the former NYPD captain said.
When asked how New York officials were preparing for potential protests in the boroughs, Adams reiterated Davis’ plea for “a peaceful raising of one’s voice.”
“We’re going to ask New Yorkers to [protest peacefully] here in the city,” he said.
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