Watch Tyre Nichols bodycam video that led to murder charges trends now
The Memphis Police Department has released harrowing bodycam footage of five police officers fatally beating Tyre Nichols following a traffic stop for purported reckless driving.
The video released on Friday night shows Nichols, 29, crying out for his mother multiple times during the brutal January 7 assault, which took place just a few blocks from his home.
'Mom! Mom!' screams Nichols as he is pinned to the ground by multiple officers following a foot chase, pepper sprayed in the face, and kicked and punched.
All five officers involved in the killing were charged with second-degree murder in killing Nichols, with the district attorney saying that though they all played different roles, 'they are all responsible.'
Still, police across the nation are bracing for potential violent unrest in response to the graphic and highly disturbing footage.
The Memphis Police Department has released harrowing bodycam footage of five police officers fatally beating Tyre Nichols
'Mom! Mom!' screams Nichols as he is pinned to the ground by multiple officers following a foot chase, pepper sprayed in the face, and kicked and punched
Tyre Nichols is pictured in hospital after the incident. The 29-year-old from Memphis died on January 10 from cardiac arrest and kidney failure, three days after he was pulled over for reckless driving by police in unmarked cars
The video consists of more than an hour of footage, including video from three body-worn cameras and one surveillance camera mounted on a utility pole.
Nichols died in hospital on January 10, three days after being beaten by the officers, with those who have seen the footage comparing it to the video of Rodney King.
A bystander filmed LAPD officers beating King with batons in 1991, and their acquittal the following year sparked six days of rioting in Los Angeles as racial tensions boiled over.
In King's case, the officers involved were white, while the five officers charged with murdering Nichols, a black man, are also black.
Nevertheless, authorities across the country were bracing for potential violence in response to the gruesome body-camera footage – with increased security surrounding Capitol Hill and police from Los Angeles to New York saying they are monitoring the situation.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp activated the National Guard after declaring a state of emergency in Atlanta, calling in 1,000 guardsmen to maintain the peace.
Earlier Friday, Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis said the footage is the worst she has witnessed in her career.
'We are going to see acts that defy humanity, a disregard for life, duty of care and a level of physical interaction that is above and beyond what is required in law enforcement,' she said Friday morning.
Charged with second degree murder are (top, left to right) Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, and (bottom, left to right) Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith
January 7: Police pull over Tyre Nichols on suspicion of reckless driving at 8.30pm. Tyre fled on foot after a 'confrontation' but was apprehended by cops soon after.
An ambulance was called to the scene after Tyre complained of shortness of breath, and was transferred to hospital in a critical condition.
January 10: Three days after the stop Tyre, 29, died from his injuries sustained in the incident. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation announced that they were looking into his death.
January 15: Five officers are relieved of duty while the investigation into their use of force continues. Preliminary findings indicate the serious nature of the offences. All of the officers were given a notice regarding the impeding administrative actions.
January 18: The Department of Justice announces that a civil rights investigation has been opened into the death of Tyre.
January 20: Memphis Police Department identifies, and fires five offices involved in the traffic stop, due to their violation of multiple department polices.
Officers Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills, Jr, and Justin Smith's jobs were terminated for failing in their 'excessive use of force, duty to intervene, and duty to render aid'.
Two Memphis Fire Department employees who were part of Nichols' 'initial patient care' were also fired.
January 23: The family of Tyre Nichols and their attorney, Ben Crump, view the footage of his arrest for the first time. Crump compares it to the assault of Rodney King by LAPD officers in 1991.
January 26: All five officers are charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, two charges of aggravated kidnapping, two charges of official misconduct and one charge of official oppression.
January 27: Four of the former officers each paid bond of $250,000 each to be released after their arrest. Body-cam footage of the assault is released.
The police chief also revealed there is 'no proof' that Tyre was driving recklessly when he was pulled over.
David added: 'It is about human dignity, integrity, accountability and the duty to protect. As this video will show – it doesn't matter whose wearing the uniform.'
Four of the five Memphis Police officers charged in the death of Tyre have been released on a combined $1million bond after being arrested yesterday.
Justin Smith, Desmond Mills Jr, Emmitt Martin III and Tadarrius Bean were released from Shelby County Jail, according to court records.
Demetrius Haley is still in jail with a $350,000 bond after all five were charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, two counts of aggravated kidnapping, two counts of official misconduct, and official oppression.
Shelby County District attorney Steve Mutlroy said Tyre was left 'bloody and bruised' after he was pepper sprayed and beaten just yards from his home.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation conducted an independent investigation into the use of force by Memphis police.
All five were fired last Friday for violation of police procedure, with city officials saying they were notified on January 15.
Davis said the cops were 'amped up' when they stopped Tyre, with two of the officers from a special team designed to stop street crime.
Speaking to CNN, Nichols' mother RowVaughn Wells said her son was 'beat like a piñata'.
'Yes, he cried out for me, because I'm his mother. He was trying to get home to safety. He was a mamma's boy,' she said through tears.
'He loves me to death. He has my name tattooed on his arm. He had Crohn's disease, and he had surgery in 2013.
'I told my husband my stomach is hurting so bad, and once I found out what happened, it was just the fact that I was feeling my son's pain.
'I was feeling my son's pain as they were beating him to death.'
RowVaughn said that she feels sorry for the officers involved in her son's death, admitting she has not had time to properly