Tyre Nichols’ family has watched video of his arrest by Memphis police just days before his death, city officials say | CNN


Tyre Nichols’ family on Monday met with Memphis, Tennessee, officials and viewed footage of his arrest earlier this month, giving them an opportunity to see what happened before he was taken in critical condition to a hospital, where he died days later.

Memphis Police confirmed in a statement on Twitter that police and city officials met with Nichols’ family to let them view the video recordings, which Chief Cerelyn Davis indicated would be released publicly at a later time.

“Transparency remains a priority in this incident, and a premature release could adversely impact the criminal investigation and the judicial process,” she said. “We are working with the District Attorney’s Office to determine the appropriate time to release video recordings publicly.”

Benjamin Crump, the attorney representing Nichols’ family, said in a statement the family would hold a news conference Monday afternoon.

The death of Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man, follows a number of recent, high-profile cases involving police using excessive force toward members of the public, particularly young Black men.

The Memphis Police Department has terminated five police officers, all of whom are Black, in connection with Nichols’ death January 10, three days after the department says officers pulled over a motorist, identified as Nichols, for alleged reckless driving the previous day.

A confrontation followed, and “the suspect fled the scene on foot,” police said in a statement on social media. Officers chased him and another confrontation took place before the suspect was taken into custody, the statement said.

“Afterward, the suspect complained of having a shortness of breath, at which time an ambulance was called to the scene. The suspect was transported to St. Francis Hospital in critical condition,” officials said.

Nichols died a few days later, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, which is investigating. The Department of Justice and the FBI have also opened a civil rights investigation.

Details about Nichols’ injuries and the cause of his death have not been released. CNN has reached out to the Shelby County coroner for comment.

The Shelby County District Attorney’s Office expects to release the video of Nichols’ arrest either this week or next week, a spokesperson told CNN on Monday, about a week after city officials said video recorded by officers’ body-worn cameras would be released publicly after the police department’s internal investigation was completed and the family had a chance to review the recordings.

“(The video) should be made public, it’s just a matter of when,” Director of Communications Erica Williams said, adding the Nichols family was expected to meet with the DA around 12 p.m. ET Monday.

Williams declined to characterize the nature of the video, saying it would be inappropriate to comment on it before the family sees it.

Asked if officials anticipated charges against the five officers involved in Nichols’ arrest, Williams said, “charges, if any, will be announced later this week.”

Pictured are top, from left, former officers Justin Smith, Emmitt Martin III,Desmond Mills and bottom, from left, Demetrius Haley and Tadarrius Bean.

The Memphis Police Department’s administrative investigation found the five officers terminated – identified by the department as Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills, Jr., and Justin Smith – violated policies for use of force, duty to intervene and duty to render aid, the department said in a statement.

“The egregious nature of this incident is not a reflection of the good work that our officers perform, with integrity, every day,” Police Chief Cerleyn “CJ” Davis said.

The Memphis Police Association, the union representing the officers, declined to comment on the terminations beyond saying that the city of Memphis and Nichols’ family “deserve to know the complete account of the events leading up to his death and what may have contributed to it.”

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