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Nation Braces For Release Of Bodycam Footage In Nichols Death, Police Chief Urges Citizens To Be Non-Violent



Tyre Nichols

On January 7, 29-year-old Tyre Nichols was hospitalized after Memphis police officers used excessive force to arrest him. He died from his injuries three days later. Now, the Memphis Police Department is urging citizens to be nonviolent ahead of the release of the video of the arrest.

Nichols, a Memphis resident and FedEx employee fond of skateboarding, Starbucks, was pulled over by Memphis officers on January 7 on suspicion of reckless driving, police said in their initial statement on the incident.

Memphis police chief Cerelyn Davis condemned the actions of officers involved in the arrest and called their actions “heinous, reckless, and inhumane.”

“This is not just a professional failing. This is a failing of basic humanity toward another individual,” Davis said in a YouTube video Wednesday, her first on-camera comments about the arrest that preceded Nichols’ death.

“This incident was heinous, reckless, and inhumane, and in the vein of transparency, when the video is released in the coming days, you will see this for yourselves.”

Davis said she anticipated the release of the video in the coming days would cause public reaction and urged citizens to be nonviolent amid “our outrage and frustration.”

“I expect our citizens to exercise their First Amendment right to protest to demand action and results. But we need to ensure our community is safe in this process,” Davis said. “None of this is a calling card for inciting violence or destruction on our community or against our citizens.”

As reported by CNN, “Attorneys for Nichols’ family said he was severely beaten, citing video that the family was allowed to see earlier this week. Nichols had “extensive bleeding caused by a severe beating,” according to the attorneys, citing preliminary results of an autopsy they commissioned.”

The department has terminated five police officers in connection with the death of Tyre Nichols for violating policies on excessive use of force, duty to intervene and duty to render aid, Davis said. The former officers were identified as Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills, Jr., and Justin Smith.

A prosecutor has said a decision on whether to file murder charges is forthcoming.

Other Memphis police officers are still under investigation for department policy violations related to the incident, Davis said without elaborating.