Memphis officials release video footage of Tire Nichols’ death

Memphis officials released video footage Friday of the traffic stoppage that led to the death of Tire Nichols, 29, earlier this month.

Nichols, a 29-year-old black man, died Jan. 10, three days after Memphis police officers arrested him for “reckless driving.”

A “confrontation took place” between Nichols and the police when he was arrested around 8:30 p.m. on January 7, according to an initial statement issued by the authorities.

However, “another confrontation occurred” as officers attempted to take Nichols into custody.

“While he was trying to take the suspect into custody, another confrontation occurred; however, the suspect was eventually apprehended,” the Memphis Police Department said. “Subsequently the suspect complained of being short of breath at which point an ambulance was called to the scene.”

People attend a candlelight vigil for Tire Nichols, who died after being allegedly beaten by Memphis police officers, in Memphis, TN on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023. (Patrick Lantrip/Daily Memphian via AP)

The Memphis Police Department released four videos, three of which were from a police officer’s body camera and one from a street pole camera and contained no sound. The videos included graphic content and a language disclaimer, with viewer discretion advised.

The footage shows the officers parking behind Nichols’ car, getting out of their vehicle and ordering Nichols out of it while shouting profanities at him.

“I didn’t do anything,” Nichols can be heard saying as the officers drag him out of his car. Nichols calmly asked the officers to “stop”.

However, officers continued to attempt to detain Nichols, with one officer firing a taser and pointing it at Nichols.

“Okay, okay,” Nichols said as the officer pointed a taser at him.

“You’re really doing a lot right now,” said Nichols, who was reportedly only a few blocks from his mother’s house. “I’m just trying to get home.”

Memphis officials release video footage of Tire Nichols' death

Top left to right: Officer Tadarrius Bean, Tire Nichols and Officer Emmitt Martin III; bottom left to right: Officers Justin Smith, Demetrius Haley and Desmond Mills, Jr.

Nichols appears to resist the officers’ order to lie on the ground, prompting an officer to use pepper spray. At one point, Nichols appears to struggle with the officers before fleeing as one discharges his stun gun.

One of the videos shows the second “altercation” between Nichols and the officers which happened at a different intersection. Officers can be seen hitting Nichols multiple times.

Then an officer deployed pepper spray, which appeared to make contact with another officer, who walked away from the altercation to regain his sight.

When the pepper-sprayed officer recovers, he turns back to Nichols and says, “Look out, I’m a stick to fuck you up.”

“Give us your hands,” the officer shouts as Nichols looks bloodied from the punches.

The Associated Press

Protesters march down the street Friday, Jan. 27, 2023, in Memphis, TN, as authorities release police video showing five Memphis officers beating Tire Nichols, whose death sparked murder charges and sparked outrage over to the latest case of police brutality in the country. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Nichols could be heard shouting “Mom” during parts of the video.

The Memphis Police Department fired all five officers last week, and a grand jury on Thursday returned a multi-count indictment against each officer on various charges, including second-degree murder.

Former officers Demetrius Haley, Tadarrius Bean, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills and Justin Smith, all black, joined the Memphis Police Department between 2017 and 2020, according to the New York Times.

Nichols’ mother, RowVaughn Wells, warned Memphis residents against violent protests before the video was released.

“When this tape comes out tomorrow it’s going to be awful. I haven’t seen it, but from what I’m hearing it’s going to be awful. But I want each of you to protest in peace. I don’t don’t want our city burning, tearing up the streets,” Wells said. “Because that’s not what my son stood for. And if you’re here for me and Tyre, then you’ll peacefully protest.


Jordan Dixon-Hamilton is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at or follow him on Twitter.


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