Memphis braces for release of video showing Tyre Nichols’ arrest

Authorities in Memphis are set to release police video depicting five officers beating a Black man whose death resulted in murder charges and provoked outrage at the country’s latest instance of police brutality.

Family members of Tyre Nichols pleaded for any protests to remain peaceful. The officers, all of whom are Black, were charged Thursday with murder and other crimes in the killing of Nichols.

The young father died three days after a confrontation with the officers on 7 January during a traffic stop. Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy told a news conference that although the officers each played different roles in the killing: “they are all responsible”.

Nichols’ family members and their lawyers said the footage shows officers savagely beating the 29-year-old for three minutes in an assault that the legal team likened to the infamous 1991 police beating of Los Angeles motorist Rodney King.

Memphis Police Director Cerelyn Davis described the officers’ actions as “heinous, reckless and inhumane”. On Friday, she said that her department had been unable to substantiate the reckless driving allegation that prompted the stop.

Mulroy said the video of the traffic stop would be released sometime Friday evening. Nichols’ family members viewed it on Monday.

Given the likelihood of protests, Davis said she and other local officials decided it would be best to release the video later in the day after schools were dismissed and people were home from work.

Nichols’ mother RowVaughn Wells has warned supporters of the “horrific” nature of the video but pleaded for peaceful protests. 

“I don’t want us burning up our city, tearing up the streets, because that’s not what my son stood for,” she said Thursday. 

“If you guys are here for me and Tyre then you will protest peacefully.”

For more watch Euronews’ report in the video above.

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