From The Footage Of Tyre Nichols’ Arrest, Unanswered Questions
One thing went terribly wrong that night, according to everyone who has seen the video of Tyre Nichols’ tragic collision with five Memphis police officers.
His family’s attorneys said the police beat him “like a human piñata” and behaved like a “gang of wolves.”
Cerelyn Davis, the first black woman to hold the position of the police chief, expressed disbelief to the BBC. She said, “Something occurred that we can’t understand.”
The five policemen were fired earlier this week as a result of the footage, and they were later charged with crimes including second-degree murder.
The films were made accessible to the general public on Friday night. The graphic events that led to Mr. Nichols’ murder were captured on camera, yet many unanswered issues now linger.
Why Did The Cops Stop Him?
One important detail—how did all this start—is absent from the four recordings, which comprise more than an hour of evidence and include different viewpoints captured by police body cameras and a pole-mounted surveillance camera.
According to his relatives, Mr. Nichols, an enthusiastic photographer, was out driving in order to capture the sunset on camera.
Police stated on Friday that there is no evidence to support the accusation that Mr. Nichols was stopped for allegedly driving recklessly, contrary to what officers first said.
The police claim that the original traffic stop was not captured, although we are not of why. The footage that has been made public only starts when officers encounter him at a crossroads at 8:24 p.m. local time.
Officers with weapons drawn instantly take him out of the vehicle and hurl him to the ground.
“I did nothing,” you say. Early on, Mr. Nichols declares, and he follows the authorities’ directions.
Put your hands behind your back before I break your [expletive]! an officer yells.
The cops are working quite hard right now, Mr. Nichols tells them. “I simply want to go home,” you say.
In a later moment of the film, an officer claims that Mr. Nichols swerved and almost struck his police car, although there is no visual proof of this.
Another policeman says he believes Mr. Nichols could be “on something,” implying that they thought he might have been taking narcotics. There is no evidence to suggest that this was the case, and police said they did not discover anything in his vehicle later in the video.
Why Were The Police So Obnoxious?
The cops are aggressive right away, shouting at Mr. Nichols and warning him to lay down or they will taze him.
In the recordings, Mr. Nichols first complies with the officers’ rudeness while being perplexed. As they try to handcuff him, he does as commanded and lays down on the ground.
He manages to escape as one of them attempts to taze him, and the cops then pepper spray him as he tries to flee.
It’s unclear how he got away and why the cops were acting so forcefully in the first place.
Greg Donaldson, a professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, told the BBC that it was “incomprehensible, from beginning to finish.”
From the traffic stop, the officers’ anxiety when they pulled the vehicle over, to the chase, to the officers’ lack of training and lack of a plan for restraining and subduing the individual they had stopped.
Why Did They Keep Hitting Him?
According to Mr. Donaldson, the footage seems to demonstrate that police rage increases “as their ineptitude looks to be more exposed.”
One of the cops squirts water in his eyes after himself experiencing the effects of the pepper spray and suggests they should “stomp” him when they capture him.
The films that were taken during the second encounter, which started at 8:32 p.m., show them doing just that. Police repeatedly kicked and struck Mr. Nichols in the head and body for many minutes while he sobbed for his mother. One of the officers is seen breathing hard and pacing off. He returns to the scene a little while later, grabs his extended baton, and repeatedly hits Mr. Nichols.
None of the cops makes an effort to stop him or the other person who is seen striking Mr. Nichols at least five times in the head.
The event “simply got out of hand,” according to Mr. Donaldson.
Why Didn’t Anybody Assist Him?
The video makes it clear that Mr. Nichols is in pain as a result of the beating. He writhes on the ground before slumping up against a vehicle because he is unable to sit up straight.
The lack of compassion shown after the tragedy, according to Mr. Donaldson, was the worst aspect of it.
He claims that Mr. Nichols was left “lying there on the ground like a piece of junk” by the cops, who “stood about like it was just an afternoon on the street.”
There are more police there than were captured on the bodycams that were made public, and we are not aware of any further video.
At 8:41 p.m., doctors show in to evaluate Mr. Nichols. Twenty minutes later, a stretcher and then an ambulance can be seen in the footage. How long it will be until Mr. Nichols is brought to the hospital is unknown.
What Caused His Death, And Why?
Even while it is obvious Mr. Nichols was badly battered, the exact reason for his death three days later in the hospital is still unknown.
There is blood surrounding his face in the footage, and we do witness officers boot him twice in the head.
However, the whole report has not been made public, according to attorneys for his family, an independent autopsy concluded that he had “extensive bleeding caused by a violent beating.”