MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The City of Memphis will release video of the police stop that led to the death of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols after 6 p.m. (CT) Friday.
The announcement was made Thursday by Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy and later confirmed by Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland. Officials have said they wanted to give Nichols’ family opportunity to see the video before the public.
“The actions of these officers were awful, and no one, including law enforcement, is above the law,” Strickland said in a video statement. “We are initiating an outside, independent review of the training, policies and operations of our specialized units.”
Earlier Thursday, a grand jury returned indictments against five former Memphis Police officers after Nichols’ death earlier this month.
Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr., and Justin Smith were booked into the Shelby County Jail on charges of second-degree murder, aggravated assault, two counts of aggravated kidnapping, two counts of official misconduct, and official oppression.
Tyre Nichols’ family had called for first-degree murder but Mulroy explained first-degree murder usually falls into one of the following two categories: premeditated, intentional killings and felony murder.
Mulroy said Second-degree murder is generally an unplanned, intentional killing or death caused by reckless disregard of human life.
Mulroy said he met with the family about these charges and it went well. Their attorney Ben Crump released a statement, saying the charges give them hope.
We asked if others, like the two Memphis fire personnel who’ve been put on leave following their actions, might be charged.
“Nothing we do today, or did today, precludes the addition of any further charges regarding any of the people that you mentioned. We’re still actively reviewing everything,” he said.
Mulroy said he hoped the incident would lead to a conversation about the need for police reform.
“The world is watching us and we need to show the world what lessons we can learn from this tragedy,” he said. “I’m hopeful that we can show them who I know us to be: a community working towards positive change here in Memphis and Shelby County.”
Video of the traffic stop Memphis Police initiated against Nichols that led to his death on Jan. 7 has so far been released only to public officials, attorneys, and family members. Attorneys for the Nichols family have said the video showed three minutes of “savage” treatment against Nichols.
David Rausch, director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, described it as “absolutely appalling.”
“Let me be clear: What happened here does not at all reflect proper policing. This was wrong, and this was criminal,” Rausch said.
Police stopped Nichols near his home in the Hickory Hill neighborhood around 8:22 p.m. Jan. 7. There was an altercation between Nichols and several officers and pepper spray was deployed, Mulroy said.
Nichols fled on foot before a second confrontation with police. He experienced “serious injuries” at this location, Mulroy said, and later was taken away by ambulance.
Mulroy said there was an “elapsed period of time” before an ambulance was called.
He confirmed that the officers involved were part of the Memphis Police Department’s SCORPION Unit.
A GoFundMe page verified by a company spokesperson has been created to help support Tyre Nichols’ family. If you would like to donate, click here.