Tyre Nichols’ family viewed footage of traffic stop that led to hospitalization and death


Family members of Tyre Nichols met with officials Monday to view footage of the traffic stop that led to his death, three days after he was hospitalized in critical condition.

Five officers involved in the Jan. 7 traffic stop were terminated Friday, following an administrative investigation that found the officers violated several department policies, Memphis Police Chief C.J. Davis said in a statement. The investigation found the officers violations including policies on use of excessive force, duty to intervene and duty to render aid.

Memphis police and city officials said they met with Nichols’ family Monday morning. Davis said in a statement that they were working with the district attorney’s office to “determine the appropriate time to release video recordings publicly.”

“Transparency remains a priority in this incident, and a premature release could adversely impact the criminal investigation and the judicial process,” Davis said.

Lawyers Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci, who are representing Nichols’ family, said in a joint statement that video of the stop will provide “clarity into what led to the loss of this young man, father, and son.”

“We will continue to demand transparency and accountability in this case, and will not stop until we achieve full justice for Tyre and his family,” the attorneys said.

Nichols’ family scheduled a press conference to follow their viewing of the video of the traffic stop.

The police department and mayor’s office issued a joint statement last week that said the body camera footage would be released to the public after the internal investigation concluded and the family was able to view it privately.

Family members and local activists hold a rally for Tyre Nichols at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tenn., on Jan. 16, 2023.Mark Weber / Daily Memphian via AP

Details of what happened between Nichols and the five officers have been scarce.

Police said in an initial statement following the Jan. 7 stop that Nichols had been pulled over for reckless driving, fled from officers on foot, and a “confrontation” occurred while officers tried to detain Nichols.

Nichols complained of having shortness of breath and was taken to the hospital in critical condition. A cause of death has not been released.

A photo provided by his stepfather, Rodney Wells, showed Nichols in the hospital with blood on his face and what appeared to be a swollen eye.

Tyre Nichols.
Tyre Nichols.Courtesy family

Nichols’ case is being investigated by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations and the Department of Justice, which announced it was launching a civil rights inquiry into the traffic stop.

Officials identified the officers Friday as Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith.

NBC News was unable to contact the officers for comment following their termination Friday.

In an emailed statement, Memphis Police Association President Lt. Essica Cage-Rosario cited an ongoing criminal investigation into Nichols’ death and declined to comment on the officers’ firing.

“The citizens of Memphis, and more importantly, the family of Mr. Nichols deserve to know the complete account of the events leading up to his death and what may have contributed to it,” she said.

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