The Memphis Chief of Police has warned that the footage of Tyre Nichols being beaten to death by five officers is worse than that of Rodney King.
King was brutally attacked by LAPD officers in 1991, with the acquittal of the officers sparking one of the worst race riots in US history.
Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis has warned that the footage is the worst she has witnessed in her career.
She added: ‘We are going to see acts that defy humanity, a disregard for life, duty of care and a level of physical interaction that is above and beyond what is required in law enforcement.’
The footage will be uploaded onto YouTube by the police department at 7pm EST – with actions being taken to prepare for violent protests.
Four of the five Memphis Police officers charged in the death of Tyre have been released on a combined $1million bond after being arrested yesterday.
Tyre Nichols, 29, died in hospital on January 10, three days after a traffic stop that ended with him being severely injured.
Tyre Nichols is pictured in hospital after the incident. The 29-year-old from Memphis died on January 10 from cardiac arrest and kidney failure, three days after he was pulled over for reckless driving by police in unmarked cars
TOP L-R: Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III. BOTTOM L-R: Desmond Mills, Jr. and Justin Smith
Justin Smith, Desmond Mills Jr, Emmitt Martin III and Tadarrius Bean have all now been released from Shelby County Jail, according to court records.
A fifth office, Demetrius Haley is still in jail with a $350,000 bond, with all five charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, two counts of aggravated kidnapping, two counts of official misconduct, and official oppression.
Shelby County District attorney Steve Mutlroy said Tyre was left bloody and bruised after he was pepper sprayed and beaten just yards from his home.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation conducted an independent investigation into the use of force by Memphis cops.
All five were fired last Friday for violation of police, with City officials saying they were notified on January 15.
Davis told CNN that the video of the attack left her ‘outraged’ and that the level of violence was ‘incomprehensible’ to her.
Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis said that the video of the attack on Nichol’s was the worst of her career.
Tyre Nichols, 29, died in hospital on January 10, three days after a traffic stop that ended with him being severely injured
She added: ‘I’m sure that individuals watching will feel what the family felt. And if you don’t, then you’re not a human being.
‘I would say it is about the same if not worse than the 1991 beating of Rodney King. A group think mentality.’
The police chief added that there is ‘no proof’ that Tyre was driving recklessly when he was pulled over – with cops failing to substantiate claims that he was.
Davis said that the cops were ‘amped up’ when they stopped him, with two of the officers being part of a special team to stop street crime.
She said that the nature of the stop was ‘very aggressive’ and it just ‘escalated from there.’
The Police Chief added that she heard Tyre call out for his mother in the video, which will be released later on today.
Five former Memphis police officers have been charged with second-degree murder and other crimes in the arrest and death of Tyre Nichols
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump speaks at a news conference with the family of Tyre Nichols on Thursday
Tyre’s family has hired civil rights attorney Ben Crump to represent them, and also compared the beating of the FedEx worker to that of Rodney King.
Speaking to CNN, his mother Row Vaughn Wells said that her son was ‘beat like a pinata’.
She said: ‘Yes, he cried out for me, because I’m his mother. He was trying to get home to safety. He was a mamma’s boy
‘He loves me to death. He has my name tattooed on his arm. He had Chron’s disease, and he had surgery in 2013.
‘I told my husband my stomach is hurting so bad, and once I found out what happened, it was just the fact that I was feeling my son’s pain
‘I was feeling my son’s pain as they were beating him to death. They brought shame to their own families. They brought shame to the black community.
‘I don’t hate anybody. That’s not in my nature, I just feel sorry for them because they did something horrendous.’
She also told Don Lemon that she was unable to watch the footage, leaving Tyre’s father Rodney RowVaugh Wells to witness the ‘horrific’ footage.
The family has set up a GoFundMe in Tyre’s name to help raise money for his funeral and case.
RowVaughn Wells said that her son was ‘beat like a pinata’ by the officers who dragged him out of his car
People attend a candlelight vigil in memory of Tyre Nichols at the Tobey Skate Park on January 26 in Memphis
Tyre was reportedly able to get away from the officers after the initial stop, but they found him again at another location, with Davis adding: ‘there was an amount of aggression that was unexplainable.’
However, Davis said she does not believe that the incident was ‘racist’ – adding that it ‘takes of the table that issues and problems in law enforcement is about race.’
She went on: ‘It is about human dignity, integrity, accountability and the duty to protect. As this video will show – it doesn’t matter whose wearing the uniform.’
Memphis Police confirmed that they planned to release the video late on Friday to avoid any ‘peaceful protest’ disruptions to members of the community.
The daughter of Rodney King, who was beaten by LAPD officers in 1991 has warned Tyre’s family that they will be in for a ‘world of hurt’ once the footage is made public.
Lora King told TMZ that the whole thing would be playing ‘on a loop’ in their heads after seeing the footage.
She was only seven when her father was attacked, with the police brutality sparking riots when the officers involved were acquitted.
Davis said that the cops were ‘amped up’ when they stopped him, with two of the officers being part of a special team to stop street crime
Dozens of people peacefully paid tribute to the murdered Fed-Ex worker, with police gearing up to deal with potential violence after footage of the incident is released
Lora warned that there is ‘no way to be normal’ after the video is released later on Friday evening.
A year after the rioting in LA, four officers stood trial in federal court on civil rights charges, with two being acquitted and two found guilty.
They were sentenced to 30 months in prison, with King also suing the city of Los Angeles and was awarded $3.8 million in damages.
David Rausch, director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, described the video as ‘absolutely appalling.’
He said: ‘Let me be clear: What happened here does not at all reflect proper policing. This was wrong, and this was criminal.’
In addition to the five officers charged Thursday, Davis said in the statement that other officers also are under investigation.
Two Memphis Fire Department personnel also have been relieved of duty pending an investigation.
President Biden has also called for calm ahead of the release of the video – adding: ‘Outrage is understandable, but violence is never acceptable.’
He said: ‘As Americans grieve, the Department of Justice conducts its investigation, and state authorities continue their work, I join Tyre’s family in calling for peaceful protest.
President Biden urged for calm before the video release, saying: ‘Violence is destructive and against the law. It has no place in peaceful protests seeking justice’
In addition to the five officers charged Thursday, Davis said in the statement that other officers also are under investigation
Tyre’s parents attended a candlelight vigil for their son on January 26 ahead of a video being released on January 27
‘Violence is destructive and against the law. It has no place in peaceful protests seeking justice.’
‘Tyre’s death is a painful reminder that we must do more to ensure that our criminal justice system lives up to the promise of fair and impartial justice, equal treatment, and dignity for all.
‘We also cannot ignore the fact that fatal encounters with law enforcement have disparately impacted Black and Brown people.’
Schools in Memphis are canceling all after-school activities in the ‘interest of public safety’ with a showcase being postponed for a week because of the footage release.
It comes as major US cities are bracing for possible violence after the release of the footage, with Georgia Governor Brian Kemp calling in the National Guard in a state of emergency in Atlanta.
He has called in 1,000 troops to be called up in an attempt to prevent the unrest and chaos that took place in last week’s riots – and could be even more extreme following the release of the graphic footage.
Capitol Police officials are also beefing up security on the Hill amid heightened concerns over the release of the video
She also told Don Lemon that she was unable to watch the footage, leaving Tyre’s father Rodney RowVaugh Wells to witness the ‘horrific’ footage
The order said the state of emergency was declared because of ‘unlawful assemblage, violence, overt threats of violence, disruption of the peace and tranquillity of this state and danger existing to persons and property.’
Protestors took to the streets of Atlanta after the death of activist Manuel Terna, 26, who was shot and killed by Georgia State Patrol after allegedly shooting a state trooper who was trying to clear protesters from the area.
Authorities were trying to clear the construction site of a new $90million public safety training center dubbed ‘Cop City’ which has come under fierce opposition from demonstrators.
Police departments in Austin, LA, and Washington are all preparing for possible unrest after the release of the footage.
Austin cops are monitoring the situation and will be ‘will be moving into tactical alert status beginning Friday morning’.
The NYPD also confirmed that they are monitoring the situation in Memphis.
Capitol Police officials are also beefing up security on the Hill amid heightened concerns over the release of the video.
Workers were spotted on Thursday evening unloading fencing near the Capitol – which are usually used for crowd control.