Video released of 5 US police officers beating Tyre Nichols in state of Tennessee
Video of Tyre Nichols' beating by five Memphis Police Department (MPD) officers was released Friday in the US state of Tennessee as the nation braces for civil unrest.
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The video shows the now-former officers initially pulling over Nichols, 29, during a traffic stop.
The officers throw him to the ground, try to cuff him and use a taser, before Nichols escapes and runs away.
A short time later, officers tracked down Nichols, pepper-spray him continuously as he was screaming, then threw him to the ground, hold him down and begin kicking him in the head area.
The officers pull Nichols to his feet as he is screaming for his mother and punch and strike him with a baton until he lies lifeless.
No first aid was rendered to Nichols as he lies on the ground writhing in pain and looking nearly lifeless.
The officers then drag Nichols across the ground and prop him up against a police car while discussing that Nichols grabbed for one of their guns.
Cities across the US, including Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. are preparing for possible states of emergency in the event of violent protests.
Demetrius Haley, Tadarrius Bean, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills, Jr. and Justin Smith were all charged with murder for the Jan. 10 death of Nichols.
The five officers were fired from the MPD following Nichols' killing.
Police Chief Cerelyn Davis condemned the actions of the officers as “a failing of basic humanity."
“This incident was heinous, reckless and inhumane, and in the vein of transparency, when the video is released ... you will see this for yourselves,” Davis said in a YouTube video.
The family's attorneys equated it to the infamous 1991 beating of motorist Rodney King by Los Angeles police officers, saying the Memphis officers beat Nichols "like a human piñata."
While authorities have only said Nichols experienced a medical emergency before he died, family members contend that the beating caused Nichols to have a heart attack and kidney failure.