Tyre Nichols called for mom as police attacked him: Report

RowVaughn Wells, the distraught mum of Nichols, has urged parents not to allow their children to watch the "horrific" footage.
Protesters march down the street Friday, Jan. 27, 2023, in Memphis, Tenn...(Photo | AP)
Protesters march down the street Friday, Jan. 27, 2023, in Memphis, Tenn...(Photo | AP)

Tyre Nichols can be heard repeatedly calling for his mum as the officers repeatedly punch, kick and hit him with a baton in the horrific body-worn camera footage released on Friday.

The 29-year-old, who was dad to a four-year-old boy, was reportedly on his way home from taking pictures of the sunset at a local park when he was pulled over by the police officers in Memphis, Tennessee, US. He died three days after he was pulled over by police.

The footage shows officers savagely beating Nichols for three minutes while screaming profanities at him throughout the attack. He is pepper-sprayed, hit with a stun gun, restrained and kicked.

It takes more than 20 minutes after Nichols is beaten and on the pavement before any sort of medical attention is provided, even though two fire department officers arrived on the scene with medical equipment within 10 minutes.

The murder has triggered public outrage with hundreds of protesters blocking major roads in Memphis with people chanting “Say his name! Tyre Nichols” while there have been demonstrations in major US cities including Washington, New York and Atlanta. Others have shouted “no justice, no peace” while one person said that greater training was needed for the police, The Mirror reported.

Chants included: “Hey ho these killers have to go” while people stated: “We are here to say we are all Tyre.”

A police car was pictured with its windscreen smashed in New York with a protester reportedly having jumped on the vehicle before he was taken away in handcuffs.

RowVaughn Wells, the distraught mum of Nichols, has urged parents not to allow their children to watch the "horrific" footage.

She also said her son was about 230ft (70m) from home when the officers "murdered him," according to The Mirror report.

“I don’t want us burning up our city, tearing up the streets, because that’s not what my son stood for,” Nichols’ mother, RowVaughn Wells, said Thursday. “If you guys are here for me and Tyre, then you will protest peacefully.”

Christopher Taylor was one of the protesters at the Interstate 55 bridge on Friday. He said he watched the video. The Memphis native said it was horrible that the officers appeared to be laughing as they stood around after the beating.

“I cried,” he said. “And that right there, as not only a father myself but I am also a son, my mother is still living, that could have been me.”

The Nichols family legal team has likened the assault to the infamous 1991 police beating of Los Angeles motorist Rodney King.

All five former Memphis Police officers who were fired following the death of Tyre Nichols were charged Thursday with second-degree murder.

Court records showed that all five former officers — Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Desmond Mills Jr., Emmitt Martin III and Justin Smith — were taken into custody.

The officers each face charges of second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression. Four of the five officers had posted bond and been released from custody by Friday morning, according to court and jail records.

Second-degree murder is punishable by 15 to 60 years in prison under Tennessee law.

Shelby County Sheriff Floyd Bonner said in a statement late Friday that two deputies who appeared on the scene after the beating were relieved of duty pending the outcome of an internal investigation.

Speaking at the White House, President Joe Biden said Friday that he was “very concerned” about the prospect of violence and called for protests to remain peaceful.

Biden said he spoke with Nichols’ mother earlier in the day and told her that he was going to be “making a case” to Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act “to get this under control.” The legislation, which has been stalled, is meant to tackle police misconduct and excessive force and boost federal and state accountability efforts.

(With inputs from Associated Press)

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The New Indian Express