Videos of deadly police beating in US released
The US city of Memphis, Tennessee released several videos on Friday showing the brutal beating of Tyre Nichols by police. Nichols, a 29-year-old black FedEx worker who had been stopped for reckless driving, succumbed to his wounds in the aftermath of the incident.
Four highly-anticipated videos from police body and stationary cameras which were uploaded to the city’s Vimeo site detail the altercation that took place on January 7. The five police officers – all of whom are black – involved in the incident have already been fired and arrested on second-degree murder and other charges.
In the first clip, the incident appears to begin with several police vehicles surrounding Nichols’ car, and officers dragging him out, saying: “Get the f**k out of the car,” to which Nichols replies, “Hey, I didn’t do anything.”
After being forcefully taken to the ground, the suspect broke free and ran away down the road, with one officer unsuccessfully attempting to tase him. Another video from around ten minutes later shows Nichols pinned down by the police. Officers repeatedly punch, kick, and strike him with batons while using pepper spray. During the beating, Nichols cried out: “Mom! Mom!” but went silent after several blows to his face.
After being handcuffed, Nichols was propped up against a police car, from time to time slumping over to his side. About half an hour later, paramedics appear to arrive and unload a to transport Nichols. He died three days later in hospital.
The footage has led to a massive public outcry. US President Joe Biden said he “was outraged and deeply pained” by this “horrific” incident, adding that this is another example of “the profound fear and trauma, the pain, and the exhaustion that Black and Brown Americans experience” every day.
The videos have sparked numerous protests across the US, with activists chanting “no justice, no peace” and “justice for Tyre.” The demonstrations so far appear to be mostly peaceful.
The incident is reminiscent of the death of George Floyd, who was murdered by a law enforcement officer in Minneapolis in 2020 – which led to mass protests against police brutality and fueled the Black Lives Matter movement.