Five former Memphis police officers –all of whom are black– have been charged with the murder of Tyre Nichols.
It all started when Nichols, a 29-year-old FedEx driver, was pulled over by police around 8:30 p.m. Jan. 7. The first police report claims he was stopped for suspicion of reckless driving and that a “confrontation” ensued. Nichols then reportedly fled the scene before being captured and taken into custody. Upon being apprehended, Nichols reportedly “complained of shortness of breath” and was then admitted to a local hospital while in critical condition before passing away Jan. 10.
However, once officials delve deeper, they determined that there was no clear evidence that Nichols should have even been pulled over in the first place.
“Where were the cameras? Was there some evidence on the body camera, on other cameras along those thoroughfares and we’ve taken a pretty extensive look to determine, you know, what that probable cause was, and we have not been able to substantiate that — it doesn’t mean that something didn’t happen, but there’s no proof,” Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis told CNN.
Furthermore, Nichols’ family hired a forensic pathologist to determine his cause of death and the family’s attorney Ben Crump said that a preliminary report reveals he “suffered extensive bleeding caused by a severe beating.”
A single photo of Nichols in the hospital corroborates that he was beaten. His face and eyes are swollen with wounds all over his face.
According to Crump, Nichols was tased, beaten, pepper sprayed and restrained just 80 yards from his family’s home.
There is a video of the traffic stop, which will be released today, Jan. 27. Nichols’ family says the footage will prove that him running was purely for his own safety.
“Our son ran because he was scared for his life. He did not run because he was trying to get rid of no drugs, no guns, no any of that,” Nichols’ stepfather Rodney Wells told CNN. “He ran because he was scared for his life. And when you see the video, you will see why he was scared for his life.”
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