Had I stumbled upon the scene too late, I might have missed him, being bloodied and beaten.
The officers are calm and their work does not seem urgent. They exchange battle tales, bump fists and pat themselves on the back in this quiet corner. Police numbers have ballooned, but everyone seems to agree there’s nothing here.
Seeing a man in the past who punched, kicked, shocked, sprayed, and dragged him now seems indifferent. With his hands behind his back, his shoes off, he’s writhing helplessly on the pavement. His screaming seemed to stop, he stopped screaming at his mother, his voice weakened, and his words became difficult to distinguish.
“You can’t go anywhere,” replies the policeman, who is bent over him. “You can’t go anywhere.”
In this harrowing video of a Memphis night, all eyes are drawn to the brutal chaotic moment that precedes this, and the death of another black man at the hands of police. captures another intolerable reality. When Tyre Nichols was seriously injuredtheir behavior seems to affirm how normal this sort of thing is.
“The police who killed Tyre Nichols are not an anomaly. They are not an outlier.” Cultural critic Toure wrote on Twitter“It’s normal police procedure and most of the time they get around it.”
of 67-minute body camera and surveillance footage released The case has photos of a jumbled, messy night. Will lead to Nichols’ death and murder charges against five police officers, all black. The view is obscured at times and the story is incomplete, but the video makes it surprisingly clear what happened.
It will begin around 8:24 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 7. I don’t see what excited the officers to pull over Nichols, but the escalation was immediate because of what they claimed was a routine traffic stop. appears to be incomprehensible.
At least three police officers surround Nichols’ car as he is pulled from the blue sedan. At least one of them he approaches with a gun outstretched. Nichols hears for the first time that he is not doing anything and is knocked to the ground. He expresses compliance and repeats “okay” over and over as the cops yell and curse.
“These him! Taise him! One cop barks.
He is knocked to the ground, but the officer continues to yell at him to lie down, seemingly confusing Nichols, who is already lying on his right side. I crack up just a little bit and try to calm them down.
“You guys are doing a lot right now,” says Nichols. “I am about to go home.”
Nichols finally appears rattled as the cops keep yelling at him to lie down.
“I’m on the ground!” he yelled back, and suddenly he was up and free.
Only a minute has passed since the police opened the car door.
Someone fires a stun gun as Nichols flees. At least he has two cops chasing him, but gives up after about 15 seconds. A lone officer gasps for radio backup and returns to the street where Nichols’ car is left.
About eight minutes later, we receive word that the suspect has been arrested.
“I hope they step on his ass,” one officer says to another. “I hope they step on his ass.”
It’s now 8:33 pm and the police have gathered at the corner of Castlegate and Bear Creek. Nichols’ capture turns brutal at a rate that’s hard to comprehend.
From a security camera installed above, Nichols can be seen lying in the street. Two officers held him down, and a third kicked him in the head once, then again.
“Mama! Mama!” he cries.
He is allowed to sit, only to have the police beat him in the back with a baton. He staggers again and absorbs a series of punches to his face and head. He is pepper sprayed.
Nichols can hardly stand now. As more blows land, he is detained by the cops. Then, after about five minutes of attack, he was dragged a short distance, his dead body leaning against the car.
It’s 8:38 PM, just 14 minutes after the first traffic stop. Although Nichols’ face cannot be seen, later released hospital photos show his nose crooked at an unnatural angle and his face bloodied and bruised, almost unrecognizable. I’m here.
Nichols’ moaning subsided, and the night’s action had largely ceased. The result is an ever-increasing number of police officers loitering, chatting, and most of all, just casually sitting on the sidelines assuming nothing happened. Paramedics arrive minutes later, but Nichols is still unattended.
He was only a minute or two away from the house he shared with his mother, Lawvaughan Wells. A policeman’s voice catches them calling him a “bitch,” “bastard,” and worse.
his mom knows the truth. At his 29, he was imbued with the mellow California vibe of being a FedEx employee, amateur photographer, skateboarder, and “near-perfect” mama’s boy. According to Wells, he was drug-free and did not own a gun. He went out to take pictures of the sky and never returned home.
The footage continues for another twenty minutes or more until an ambulance blocks the shot. Wells can’t bear to watch it anyway.
Matt Sedensky can be reached at [email protected] and https://twitter.com/sedensky.