Tyre Nichols' death: A summary and timeline of his encounter with Memphis police officers
Four harrowing videos released by the city of Memphis Friday evening show the brutal and ultimately fatal assault on 29-year-old Tyre Nichols, who was pulled over during a Jan. 7 traffic stop and was dead three days later.
Here are some critical moments from that deadly encounter.
The video is available here. Warning: It shows graphic violence that could be disturbing.
8:24 p.m. Officers conduct a traffic stop and apprehend Nichols
"Get the f--- out the f----ing car!" an officer is heard screaming while pulling Nichols out of his car.
"I didn't do anything," Nichols responds.
A scuffle ensues, with an officer yelling "Get on the f---ing ground!"
"All right, I'm on the ground!" Nichols says.
Police had said that they stopped Nichols for reckless driving, but Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn “C.J.” Davis said early Friday morning an investigation and review of available camera footage found “no proof” of that.
Officers are seen pinning Nichols to the ground on his side while grabbing his arms and giving him contradictory orders.
"You guys are really doing a lot right now," Nichols is heard saying during the encounter. "I'm just trying to go home!"
8:25 p.m. Nichols is pepper sprayed and attempts to flee during stun gun attempt
Officers pursue Nichols on foot after he flees while officers attempt to use a stun gun on him. They call for backup, which arrives at around 8:29 p.m. and pursues Nichols.
8:29 p.m. Backup arrives
Two police cars arrive at the intersection where Nichols was initially stopped as officers ask for his location. An officer can be heard on the radio saying they've spotted Nichols running on foot.
8:32 p.m. Officers re-apprehend Nichols
Nichols is repeatedly pepper-sprayed during his second encounter with officers.
"Shut the f--- up!" an officer yells to Nichols.
Two officers are seen on top of Nichols, who is lying on the pavement.
"Give me your hands!" officers say to Nichols.
Nichols appears to shield his face as officers begin to punch and slap him in the face.
"You want to get sprayed again?" one officer says to Nichols.
Nichols screams, "Mom!" repeatedly. Police caught up with Nichols in a neighborhood — less than 80 yards, his mother has said, from her home.
Officers ask again for Nichols to give them his hands. "All right, all right," he replies and appears to move his hands to his back.
Officers continue to pepper-spray Nichols directly in the eyes while he lies on the ground. They are heard complaining the chemical spray got in their eyes as well.
8:34 p.m. Nichols is kicked in the head and beaten with batons
At least one officer is seen kicking Nichols in the head while he is pinned on his side on the pavement.
Officers stand Nichols upright and pin his hands behind him. Officers punch Nichols, who is staggering about, repeatedly in his head and beat him with batons.
8:41 p.m. Medics arrive at the scene but offer no aid
Nichols is sitting handcuffed on the pavement.
Two medics prop Nichols' slumped body up against the unmarked police car. Nichols is conscious but visibly injured. Medical personnel are seen standing around nearby Nichols but do not render aid at this point.
The two fire department employees tasked with Nichols' initial patient care were later relieved of duty.
During this time the officers are standing around the scene and discussing the violent arrest.
“I hit that man with so many pieces,” an officer says to the group.
At least two officers are heard claiming that Nichols attempted to grab one of their guns. Body-camera footage reviewed by NBC News did not show any indication that Nichols had reached for their weapons. Authorities also did not confirm this account.
One officer claims that during the initial traffic stop, he repeatedly tried to get Nichols to stop driving.
"That man drove around, swerved like he was gonna hit my car. So then I'm like, goddamn, what are we doing?" the officer says.
“He pulled up at the red light, stopped at the red light, put his turn signal on," adds the officer.
The officer said he jumped out of his car and "shit went from there."
Several minutes later, the two medics begin to attend to Nichols. EMS and EMT ambulances are also seen arriving at the scene.
Nichols was hospitalized in critical condition after the encounter and died three days later.
Five officers involved in the case — Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith — were fired after an administrative investigation found they had violated department policy on the use of force.
The former officers, all members of the department's vaunted Scorpion unit, were charged Thursday 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.
In a Friday news conference, Nichols’ family and attorneys praised the swift charges and investigation.
“We look at how swiftly the district attorney brought charges against them in less than 20 days. Then we want to proclaim that this is the blueprint going forward for any time any officers, whether they be black or white, will be held accountable,” Ben Crump, one of the attorneys, said.
The officers were released from jail on bond. Bean, Mills and Smith posted $250,000 bond; Haley and Martin posted $350,000 bond.
They will be arraigned together Feb. 17, according to court records.
On Saturday, the Memphis Police Department permanently deactivated Scorpion, which stands for Street Crimes Operation to Restore Peace in Our Neighborhoods. The unit was launched in November 2021 when the city’s murder rate was soaring and the community was calling for action.
“In the process of listening intently to the family of Tyre Nichols, community leaders, and the uninvolved officers who have done quality work in their assignment, it is in the best interest of all to permanently deactivate the SCORPION Unit,” the department said in a statement Saturday.
According to the statement, “the officers currently assigned to the unit agree unreservedly with this next step. While the heinous actions of a few casts a cloud of dishonor on the title SCORPION, it is imperative that we, the Memphis Police Department take proactive steps in the healing process for all impacted.”
This article was originally published on NBCNews.com