Videos Contradict Police Report on Tyre Nichols Arrest

Report claimed officer was the victim of assault
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2023 6:35 PM CST
Videos Contradict Police Report on Tyre Nichols Arrest
Soquoia Green, a cousin of Tyre Nichols, lights candles with family and friends during a vigil for him late Monday, Jan. 30, 2023, at Regency Community Skate Park.   (Paul Kitagaki Jr./The Sacramento Bee via AP)

As with the initial police report after the death of George Floyd, the police report filed after the brutal beating of Tyre Nichols in Memphis paints a very different picture from what is seen in videos. The report written by a police officer claims Nichols was angry, "started to fight" officers, and tried to grab one of their guns, the New York Times reports. The report lists Nichols, who was hospitalized in critical condition and died three days later, as the suspect in an aggravated assault and one of the officers as a victim. None of the report's claims are backed up by videos from the scene, which show officers severely beating the 29-year-old and laughing about it afterward, with one officer boasting about landing "haymakers," reports the Times. Five officers have been charged with felonies including second-degree murder.

A statement issued by police the day after the beating describes a "confrontation" after Nichols was allegedly spotted driving recklessly, CNN reports. It said Nichols ran away and "another confrontation occurred" as officers took him into custody. "Afterward, the suspect complained of having a shortness of breath, at which time an ambulance was called to the scene." The statement made no mention of the beating. The longer police report said pepper spray and a Taser were used and Nichols was struck with a baton—but it didn't mention the numerous punches and kicks Nichols received from officers, the Times reports. The videos show no signs that Nichols, described as violent in the report, tried to strike back at any point. (Three Memphis Fire Department employees who responded to the scene have been fired.)

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