Tire Nichols: Here are the main revelations from police video

Editor’s note: This article contains gory videos and descriptions of violence.


Newly released video of Tire Nichols being beaten by police captures an atrocity his family and authorities had long foretold: He was punched and kicked while restrained. He begged to come home and repeatedly called out for his mom.

After the beating, Nichols slumped in a car, motionless, but officers who were walking around the scene ignored the 29-year-old black man.

The videos included three shorter body camera clips and a roughly 31-minute video shot from a utility pole camera that appeared to capture much of the violence just steps from Nichols’ home in Memphis.

The video shows parts of the initial traffic stop on the night of Jan. 7 and a second altercation that ensued minutes later after Nichols fled the first location on foot. Nichols required hospital treatment after the encounter and died on January 10.

“What you’re seeing is a significant number of police officers failing at arrest and containment tactics and making up for it with brutality,” said John Miller, CNN’s chief law enforcement and intelligence analyst.

Law enforcement analysts who watched the clips were troubled by a series of actions and inactions during the encounter, from a beating by a group of police officers to the time it took for someone to provide assistance to a motionless Nichols.

The videos left many unanswered questions, including the reasons for the stops that police did not explain in the videos. Memphis police initially said Nichols was pulled over on suspicion of reckless driving, but Police Chief Cerelyn “CJ” Davis told CNN on Friday that authorities could not “verify” that claim.

The clips also don’t answer why authorities used such force against Nichols, who doesn’t appear to have fired back, or why they felt the need to confront him twice.

But the videos do reveal the violence of the deadly confrontation. Here are some important revelations:

Video of the encounter captured multiple officers threatening violence against Nichols when he appeared to be obeying their orders or were already present.

A body camera video of Nichols’ initial encounter with the officer shows the officer getting out of his car with a gun drawn and captures an officer yelling at Nichols to “get the fuck out of the car come out”.

“I didn’t do anything,” Nichols said, then, as he fell, “Well, I’m on the ground.”

An officer yelled at him, “Bitch, put your hands behind your back before I… I’m going to fucking knock your ass out.”

“I just want to go home,” Nichols said.

As officers yelled orders, Nichols repeatedly responded that he was on the ground and was heard saying he was doing nothing before running away when an officer deployed his Taser.

In the second encounter, where the beating took place, body camera captured an officer yelling at Nichols: “I’m going to fucking beat you with a baton,” before Nichols fell to the ground , did not fight back. An officer was also heard asking “do you want to get sprayed again” while Nichols yelled at his mum on the ground.

In a video released by the city, officers attempt to detain Tire Nichols during a traffic stop.

Video from a remote-controlled camera on a nearby utility pole showed Memphis police officers beating Nichols at least nine times in a row without apparent provocation.

“The pole camera video is what really justifies the charges,” said CNN law enforcement analyst Charles Ramsey, a former Philadelphia police chief. You really can’t explain it. … One officer kicked him so hard that he was limping around.

In the pole video, an officer can be seen pushing Nichols onto the sidewalk with what appeared to be his leg or knee. Nichols was then pulled over the shoulder and kicked twice in the face before being hit in the back with what appeared to be a baton. Seconds later, he was hit again.

Once he was pulled up, officers punched Nichols in the face multiple times while other officers pinned his hands behind his back.

Nichols was seen on his knees – less than a minute later an officer appeared to kick him.

In the video, police officers beat Tire Nichols on a street corner.

When officers let go of Nichols, he rolled over and was dragged onto the sidewalk, sitting against the side of a car, largely unnoticed by officers at the scene.

As Nichols lay unattended next to his car, officers appeared to say at least two officers pepper-sprayed him and another hit Nichols with the drug, according to body camera video released s.

“No one was doing anything to help him. It went back to inaction, indifference and general forgetfulness of officers who just stood by,” said the former NYPD lieutenant. Darling Pocher.

About 10 minutes into the video, paramedics appear to be at the scene.

Nichols appeared to be subdued after the beating for about 23 minutes before a stretcher arrived at the scene.

“It’s horrible,” said CNN’s chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta. “He’s probably had all kinds of different injuries. With so many head injuries, you’re seeing kicks to the head, blows to the head, blows to the head, which is obviously very concerning.”

What could happen in this case is that the brain could start to swell and there could be internal bleeding, Gupta added.

“That’s why this timing is so critical, because if the brain is swollen — he seemed to be talking at some point, but he’s obviously gotten worse — when you’re not getting enough oxygenated blood to the brain anymore, The brain just starts to swell and that’s what causes the big problems, and that’s what leads to death.”

“He was just laying there, obviously in critical condition at this point.”

Paramedics are not particularly equipped to help someone with this type of internal injury, Dr. Kendall Von Crowns, Chief Medical Examiner, Tarrant County, Texas. The focus should be on getting Nichols to the hospital for emergency surgery or a blood transfusion as quickly as possible.

“We’re talking minutes,” he said. “He really needs medical attention right away.”

In this video released by the city of Memphis, Tire Nichols is shown lying on the ground after being beaten by Memphis police.

What bothered Pocher, aside from the excessive violence, was that “no cops were willing to step in and say stop,” he told CNN on Friday night.

“In some cases, you have to mediate and say ‘stop,’ or take actual action between the officer who beat the person and that actual person. But that didn’t happen,” Pocher said.

According to Memphis Police Department policy, officers have a duty to intervene.

According to the department’s policy page, “any member who directly observes another member engaging in dangerous or criminal behavior or the subject of abuse should take reasonable action to intervene”.

In the video, officers appear to pepper spray Tire Nichols.

Earlier this month, five Memphis police officers, who were also black, were fired for violating police policy and charged separately with second-degree murder, among other charges.

Fire Department public information officer Qwanesha Ward told CNN’s Nadia Romero that two Fire Department employees involved in Nichols’ “initial patient care” were relieved “while an internal investigation is underway.”

After the video was released, Shelby County Sheriff Floyd Bonner Jr. He said An internal investigation was launched into the actions of the two representatives who “appeared at the scene after the physical confrontation”. The sheriff said the two deputies “have been relieved of their duties” pending the outcome of the investigation.

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