Hours of video from Tyre Nichols' fatal traffic stop remains unreleased
Memphis, Tennessee - Up to 20 hours of unreleased footage from the traffic stop that claimed the life of Tyre Nichols in Memphis have yet to be released, prosecutors say.
The most notable aspect of the never-before-seen clips is the audio, which reveals comments made in the wake of the beating and after an ambulance took Nichols to the hospital, County prosecutor Steven Mulroy told CNN.
Mulroy did not say when or to what extent the rest of the footage would be made public, noting that decision rests with the City of Memphis and its police department.
It’s been nearly a week since Memphis officials released video – composed of footage from the city’s surveillance cameras and body cameras worn by responding law enforcement officers – of Nichols’ deadly interaction with police. He was pulled over on January 7 in Memphis’ Hickory Hill neighborhood on allegations of reckless driving, which authorities say they’ve been unable to substantiate.
Bodycam video shows an officer at the traffic stop pointing his gun while a second shouts, "You’re going to get your a** blown the f**k out."
Nichols could then be seen getting yanked out of his car and thrown to the ground, at which point multiple officers immediately converged on the 29-year-old, all of them shouting contradictory orders before the violence begins.
Nichols managed to briefly escape and attempted to make a dash for his mother’s home, some 80 yards away, but he was again captured and assaulted by police.
Nichols died at a hospital on January 10, three days after the traffic stop.
Video footage seemingly contradicts police report
According to a police report, which contradicts the video on several counts, Nichols was driving too fast toward oncoming traffic.
Officers alleged Nichols was uncooperative and attempted to start a fight, though there is no indication in the video that he was violent with law enforcement officers.
"Detectives noticed that the suspect Tyre Nichols was sweating profusely and irate when he exited the vehicle," the report said, per NBC News. "Detectives gave verbal commands to stop resisting and then the suspect Tyre Nichols grabbed for Detective Martin’s gun."
At no point in the released footage can Nichols be seen reaching for an officer’s weapon.
So far, five officers – Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith – were fired and charged with a slew of felonies, including second-degree murder, in connection with Nichols’ death.
Four of the five officers had tainted records and had previously been reprimanded for forcible arrests or been suspended at some point.
Cover photo: Memphis Police Department/REUTERS