Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old black man, was pulled over by law enforcement officers in Memphis, Tennessee, allegedly for reckless driving. The father of a four-year-old child, who was into photography, died in hospital three days after the beating, and after the officers published the body-camera footage, the largest protests since the murder of George Floyd began across the United States.
City law enforcement officers stopped Nichols’ vehicle and charged him with dangerous driving and a traffic violation. Almost immediately after the man’s car stopped at the police officers’ request, several officers dragged Nichols outside and began threatening him. Not understanding the reason for the stop, the 29-year-old photographer began asking the law enforcement officers questions, which were taken with aggression and anger by the latter. A few minutes after the conflict began, the police officers began using force against the black man: they tried to pin him to the ground, threatened and shouted insults, and then used pepper spray and a stun gun. A frightened Nichols managed to escape from the officers’ hands, after which he tried to run away.
The story of the father of a four-year-old child’s interaction with Memphis law enforcement did not end there. Nine minutes later, the enraged officers caught up with him, after which they threw him to the ground and immediately began beating him. According to footage from a police officer’s body camera, the cops beat Nichols for three minutes, hitting him in the head and back with a baton, then kneeling him down and kicking him in the face. During the beating, the man was given contradictory and unenforceable orders, such as being ordered to lie on the ground when he was already on the ground, and being ordered to show the police officers his hands when they were already handcuffed. The man lost consciousness and was taken to the hospital, where he died three days later. His family stated that the police beat Tyre so severely that it was almost impossible to recognize him.
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