Police Chief: Video of Black Officers Beating Tyre Nichols as Bad as Rodney King Assault

Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn “CJ” Davis said the video of Memphis police officers beating Tyre Nichols earlier this month is perhaps worse than the infamous Rodney King footage. . .

King was beaten by a group of Los Angeles Police Department officers in 1991 in an attack that was captured on civilian video. The attack later spawned the 1992 Los Angeles riots, which resulted in dozens of deaths, after a jury acquitted or couldn’t reach a verdict for excessive force on the officers involved.

Memphis police say they pulled over Nichols on Jan. 7 around 8:30 p.m. for “reckless driving” near Raines Road and Ross Road in Memphis. A “confrontation occurred” during the stop, at which point Nichols ran away from police on foot. Officers pursued the 29-year-old and attempted to apprehend him, police said, and they said an ambulance was called when he complained of shortness of breath. He died at the hospital on Jan. 10.

Nichols family attorneys said Tuesday that following an independent autopsy on Nichols’ body carried out by a “highly regarded, nationally renowned forensic pathologist,” preliminary findings indicated that “Tyre suffered extensive bleeding caused by a severe beating.” They also said Nichols’ “observed injuries are consistent with what the family and attorneys witnessed on the video of his fatal encounter with police on Jan. 7, 2023.”

The five officers involved – Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills, Jr. and Justin Smith – were fired after an internal review of their actions, and they now face second-degree murder charges, along with several other felonies. (Read more from “Police Chief: Video of Black Officers Beating Tyre Nichols as Bad as Rodney King Assault” HERE)

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