Family of Tyre Nichols gathers at NCRM to demand answers, release of video footage from traffic stop
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Almost one week after 29-year-old Tyre Nichols passed away, his family is calling for the officers involved to be held accountable.
Nichols died in his hospital bed on January 10. Monday, his family, activists and others are asking for video of the circumstances that lead to his death to be released.
Almost one week after Nichols lost his life after a traffic stop with Memphis police, loved ones gathered at the steps of the National Civil Rights Museum demanding answers about how he died.
The family also wants the officers involved to be terminated and charged for Nichols’ death.
“It’s just a nightmare,” said Nichols’ sister Keyana Dixon. “I just want justice for my brother. Please.”
After complaining of shortness of breath, Nichols was transported to Saint Francis Hospital in critical condition, according to police.
Nichols arrived at Saint Francis Hospital bloodied, swollen and with a broken neck his family says.
He died three days later, after two “confrontations” with police on January 7. Memphis police say they pulled Nichols over for reckless driving around 8:30 p.m. in the area of Raines Road and Ross Road.
According to police, a “confrontation” occurred when authorities approached his car, and Nichols fled.
Another “confrontation” happened as police pursued him.
Nichols’ stepfather Rodney Wells says he was a block away from his home.
“He was 6′3″, 145 pounds, soaking wet,” said Nichols’ stepfather Rodney Wells. “It don’t take four officers to beat a man to death. He was not a threat to them. And why they went as far as they did, I have no clue.”
Nichols’ brother, Jamal Miller says Tyre was an innocent man who never got in trouble, the father of a four-year-old son and a skateboarder.
His coworkers at FedEx were heartbroken as they held a balloon release last week.
“He touched everybody he came around,” said Nichols’ brother Lamar Miller. “Everybody. To see my little brother go from this to that, and to see what my momma going through and to see what my sister going through that s*** eat me up,” said Miller.
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump is asking for video footage to be released. In a statement, he told Action News 5:
“All of the available information tells us that this was the tragic and preventable death of a young man deeply beloved by his family and community. This kind of in-custody death destroys community trust if agencies are not swiftly transparent. The most effective way for the Memphis Police Department to be transparent with the grieving Nichols family and the Memphis community is to release the body camera and surveillance footage from the traffic stop. Nobody should ever die from a simple traffic stop – the footage is the only way to discern the true narrative of why and how that happened to Tyre.”
The TBI is conducting a “use of force” investigation at the request of Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy.
An internal investigation by Memphis police into policy violations is also underway.
Chief CJ Davis said Sunday, the department is notifying officers involved of “impending administrative actions.”
“It doesn’t mean anything to me until the officers are arrested and charged,” said Wells. “It doesn’t mean anything, those are words. We need action. We don’t need words.”
Action News 5 asked the City of Memphis and Memphis police to explain what “administrative actions” means. We have not heard back.
We’ve also requested police dash and body-worn camera videos.
Tuesday at noon, a memorial service will be held in Memphis for Nichols.
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