10 january, tyre nichols, a 29-year-old black man, died of unspecified injuries three days after he was stopped by memphis police for reckless driving. the incident involved five officers from the memphis police department, all of whom were african american. according to the family’s lawyers, mr nichols was beaten by the officers like a “human piñata” during the encounter.
Incident took place less than 80 yards (73m) from mr nichols’ mother’s house. in response to the incident, the memphis police department conducted an investigation and fired the five officers for violations of department policies, including the use of force.
Encounter allegedly began when mr nichols tried to escape police to run home. the family of mr nichols has seen a video of the incident, but have not divulged its contents. attorneys ben crump and romanucci presented a photo which appeared to show mr nichols in hospital after the arrest, violently bruised and breathing through a tube. mr crump noted that the video of the arrest “reminded us of the rodney king video”. the family of mr nichols believes that he did not use drugs, nor carry weapons, and did not like confrontation. antonio romanucci, a lawyer for the family of mr nichols, described the encounter as “an unadulterated, unabashed, non-stop beating of this young boy for three minutes”.