[guest post by Dana]
Here is a link to the graphic videos of the moments leading up to the death of Tyre Nichols. The New York Times provides more details about the insane chaos that took place between Memphis police officers and Nichols on that fateful night in Memphis:
Police officers unleashed a barrage of commands that were confusing, conflicting and sometimes even impossible to obey, a Times analysis of footage from Tyre Nichols’s fatal traffic stop found. When Mr. Nichols could not comply — and even when he managed to — the officers responded with escalating force.
The review of the available footage found that officers shouted at least 71 commands during the approximately 13-minute period before they reported over the radio that Mr. Nichols was officially in custody. The orders were issued at two locations, one near Mr. Nichols’s vehicle and the other in the area he had fled to and where he would be severely beaten. The orders were often simultaneous and contradictory. Officers commanded Mr. Nichols to show his hands even as they were holding his hands. They told him to get on the ground even when he was on the ground. And they ordered him to reposition himself even when they had control of his body.
The report explains that there are protocols in place to diffuse these kinds of situations:
To mitigate the potential for escalation and confusion during police encounters, today’s police training typically calls for a single officer at the scene to issue clear and specific commands. It also requires police officers to respond professionally and proportionately to any perceived act of defiance.
But The Times’s review shows that the officers did the exact opposite, over and over.
The available footage does not show any sign that the officers present intervened to stop the aggressive use of force. If anything, it shows the contrary.
At one point, footage captured an officer saying “I hope they stomp his ass” after Mr. Nichols’s attempt to flee the scene.
Five officers have been fired for violating the department’s policy on the use of force, and are charged with second-degree murder, two counts of official misconduct, two counts of aggravated kidnapping, one count of official oppression and one count of aggravated assault. A sixth police officer has also been relieved of duty as the investigation continues.