Memphis to release traffic stop video, officers charged

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — After-school activities in Memphis were canceled and President Joe Biden called for peaceful protests ahead of the Friday release of footage of a traffic stop that led to the death of a 29-year-old Black driver.

Tyre Nichols, an avid skateboarder and FedEx worker who had a 4-year-old son, was pulled over on Jan. 7. He was hospitalized in critical condition after what police initially described as “confrontations” with officers and died three days later. Police have released few details about what occurred during the stop, but Nichols’ family and their attorneys say video showed officers beating Nichols for several minutes.

Five former officers, who were fired last week, were charged Thursday with second-degree murder and other crimes in connection to Nichols’ death. Nichols’ family and officials including Biden are calling for peaceful protests following the release of the video expected after 6 p.m. CT.

Tyre Deandre Nichols, 29, died Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, in Memphis, three days being stopped and detained by Memphis Police. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is looking into the death.

Nichols’ stepfather, Rodney Wells, said at a press conference Friday the family is satisfied with the charges brought against the officers and urged demonstrators to gather peacefully. RowVaughn Wells, Nichols’ mother, on Thursday said the video is “horrific,” but asked supporters to “protest in peace.” 

“More than anything we want peace,” Wells said. “We do not want any type of uproar, we do not want any type of disturbance.”

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