The police haven’t said much about what led to Nichols’ arrest or what happened after he was pulled over. Nichols is a father of two who is 29 years old and works for FedEx. His family says he loves to skateboard.
Lawyers for his family say that on the night of January 7, he was going home from a suburban park where he had taken pictures of the sunset. According to a statement from the Memphis Police Department, he was pulled over on his way home for driving carelessly.
As officers came up to Nichols to arrest him, police say there was a “confrontation,” and Nichols ran away. Police say that before Nichols was finally arrested, there was also a second “confrontation.”
In case you’re interested, you can go back and read our coverage of the Tyre Nichols incident in detail:
- Video Shows That After A Traffic Stop, Police Kicked, Pepper Sprayed, And Beat Tyre Nichols
- What is Second-Degree Murder in Tennessee, According to the Tyre Nichols case?
In an interview on CNN on January 27, Memphis Police Director Cerelyn “CJ” Davis said that investigators “have not been able to back up” the first report of reckless driving.
Police said that, following the arrest, Nichols “complained of having a shortness of breath, at which time an ambulance was called.” Police said that Nichols was taken to a hospital in very bad shape.
In a statement released on January 10, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation indicated that Nichols “succumbed to his injuries,” but did not specify what those injuries were. However, the official cause of death has not been disclosed.
Rodney Wells, Nichols’ stepfather, told CBS affiliate WREG-TV that the officers’ beating caused his stepson to have a heart attack and lose his kidneys.
Different people on Twitter had different takes on what happened with Tyre Nichols:
So I just watched the Police body cam footage of Tyre Nichols. I will say this first, I will always support the blue.
Second Tyre isn’t innocent in this, he ran from the cops, and he kept resisting them while being told to put his hands behind his back.
— Joshua Flippo (@JFlippo1327) January 28, 2023
Unlike in the case of George Floyd…
Tyre Nichols was murdered.
And every single one of these cops needs to be held accountable.
— Avi Yemini (@OzraeliAvi) January 28, 2023
When you see black American police officers, with body cams, doing this to another black American, you get an idea about what US military have done in #Iraq, #Afghanistan and other countries around the world.#TyreNichols #TyreNicholsVideo #MemphisPolice pic.twitter.com/OVjE1V1Eb4
— أحمد حسيني (@A_Hossainy) January 28, 2023
Tyre Nichols should be alive. Yes, the police officers who brutally murdered him must be held accountable. But even their conviction on the strongest possible charges cannot bring Tyre back. We must do everything in our power to end police violence against people of color.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) January 28, 2023
The family’s lawyers said that an independent autopsy they paid for showed that Nichols had “extensive bleeding” because he had been hit hard. The report’s full findings were not made public. On Friday, four films surfaced online, featuring footage from police body cameras and other street surveillance systems.
They show officers pulling Nichols out of his car after stopping him, a fight when Nichols breaks free and runs away, and then disturbing images of five officers holding Nichols down and beating him at an intersection. In the videos, Nichols is seen getting kicked and punched in the head, pepper sprayed, and hit with a baton more than once.