There is growing concern across Memphis about what could happen once the police body cam footage of the arrest of Tyre Nichols is made public.Nichols was stopped by Memphis Police on Jan. 7 for reckless driving. Officers say there was some sort of confrontation and Nichols ran. Once he was captured, he complained of breathing problems. Police did not elaborate on why Nichols ran, nor did they explain what sort of confrontation took place.
Police took Nichols to the hospital where he died three days later.
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A photograph shared by the family shows a badly beaten Nichols in a blood-soaked hospital bed with a tube down his throat. They allege police beat Nichols to death.On Friday night five officers who were involved in the arrest were fired. Click here for that story.
The Nichols family is expected to view the video footage of the arrest and aftermath on Monday. Once that happens, it will be released to the public.
At least three credible sources with direct knowledge of the video tell KWAM NewsTalk Memphis that the video is extremely disturbing and gruesome.Sources tell KWAM NewsTalk Memphis that law enforcement on the local and state level will be prepared to handle what is expected to be large-scale protests.
“With the potential of civil unrest, we’re hoping that it won’t happen but we also have to prepare,” Shelby County Sheriff Floyd Bonner told television station WREG. “People have a right to protest and we’re hoping that peaceful, that it will be no post of property, business receiving damage, certainly, not any other loss of life.”
State Sen. London Lamar (D-TN) condemned the death of Nichols and placed the blame on police.
“The Tyre Nichols case has been weighing heavy on my heart because an innocent man lost his life at the hands of individuals who are tasked with protecting us,” she said in a statement posted on her Instagram page. “What happened to this bright young man is unacceptable and the perpetrators need to be held accountable to the fullest extent.”
Lamar said “our trust in law enforcement is bruised.”
But the Memphis Democrat also called on protesters to remain peaceful.
“This isn’t a time for us to respond with violence because it only makes our pain worse,” she said.