Tire Nichols cops were heard saying “That was fun” in horrific bodycam video shortly after the fatal caning in Memphis
DISTURBING body camera footage of 29-year-old Tire Nichols being beaten and kicked in the face by police officers while they laughed and described the beating as “fun” has sparked outrage.
Nichols died of his injuries Jan. 10, three days after he was stopped at a traffic stop and brutally beaten by five Memphis Police Department officers.
A new video shows the moments when cops stood around Nichols’ body, laughing, as an officer said: “That was fun.”
All five officers involved have been fired and have been charged with murder since Thursday.
Hour of footage released by authorities on Friday shows officers stopping Nichols after claiming he was driving recklessly.
Officers pulled the man out of his car and yelled at him to get off the ground as he yelled, “I haven’t done anything” and “I’m just trying to go home.”
The Memphis man was held down, punched and kicked in the face, stabbed and pepper sprayed for three minutes while screaming for his mother.
Another officer yelled, “I’m going to f***ing beat you up” and raised the gun at him during the horrifying incident.
Nichols initially ran from police officers when he was pulled from his car and pinned to the ground.
“Stop it, I’m not doing anything,” he yelled before running away.
Officers fired Tasers at him and chased him.
After the beating, officers stood around while Nichols lay on the street, leaning against the car in pain.
All five officers were fired after the incident. They were charged with second-degree murder and related offenses on Thursday, Reuters reported.
The tragedy has been compared by the heartbroken family to the infamous police beating of motorist Rodney King in 1991.
Memphis Police Director Cerelyn Davis described the actions as “despicable, reckless and inhumane” and said they have yet to find evidence that Nichols drove recklessly.
President Biden addressed the video in a statement, saying he was “outraged and deeply distressed” after seeing the footage.
“It is another painful reminder of the deep fear and trauma, pain and exhaustion that black and brown Americans experience every day,” the president wrote.
He had an emotional phone call with the family on Friday before the video was released.
Vice President Kamala Harris said, “Tyre Nichols should have made it home to his family.
“Yet America mourns once again the life of a son and father brutally ended at the hands of those who swore to protect and serve them.”
“He was one of those people who made everyone around him happy,” said Lucille Washington, Tyre’s step-grandmother, at a memorial service
She also called on Congress to urgently pass the upcoming police law.
Before the video was released, police and politicians in Memphis and other major US cities were preparing for widespread protests.
Protesters took to the streets in cities including New York, Chattanooga and Atlanta, where Georgia State Patrol vehicles were seen escorting National Guard troops.
Three people were arrested at a Times Square protest that drew more than 1,000 people. One was arrested after smashing the windshield of a police car.
In Sacramento, around two dozen protesters gathered to march around the Capitol to demand justice.
Los Angeles police officers were spurred into action when protesters began tearing down barriers around the LAPD building.
One person spray-painted “kills” on the side of the headquarters under the word police, shocking photos revealed on social media.
Nichols’ family encouraged the protests but urged the protesters to remain peaceful.
“If you are here for me and Tyre, you will protest peacefully,” his mother RowVaughn Wells said at a vigil Thursday night, the New York Times reported.
“We don’t tear up our cities because we have to live in them.”
Although all officers are black, many commenters have said their behavior was likely still influenced by institutional racism in the criminal justice system.
Prominent civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, who represents the Nichols family, was disgusted by the beatings.
Still, he was pleased with the speed with which officers were charged and the footage released.
“We want to announce that this is the blueprint for the future where all officials, black and white, are held accountable,” Crump said.
“They can no longer tell us that we have to wait six months to a year.”
The five officers who were fired – Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith – were charged on Friday.
They were all members of the “Scorpion” unit, a group of officers focused on violent crime in Memphis. Many have called for the unit to be disbanded, a measure police are currently considering.
The officers were also charged with assault, kidnapping, misconduct and suppression of office.
Four of the five suspects posted bail and have since been released from custody.
Attorneys for Martin and Mills said their clients would plead not guilty, while representatives for the other three have not commented.
Nichols was a FedEx employee and father who moved to Memphis from Sacramento just before the Covid-19 pandemic.
Friends and family say he was a gifted photographer and an avid skateboarder.
“Photography helps me see the world more creatively. It expresses me in a way that I can’t write for humans,” reads his website.
He was on his way home from photographing the sky when the police stopped him.
He leaves behind a four-year-old son.
“It’s not even real to me right now,” his heartbroken mother said.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/7248356/tyre-nichols-cops-fun-horrific-bodycam-video/ Tire Nichols cops were heard saying “That was fun” in horrific bodycam video shortly after the fatal caning in Memphis