AP Photo/Gerald Herbert
- Tyre Nichols’ mom pleaded with parents not to let kids see body-cam footage of her son’s beating.
- Nichols died in the hospital after an incident with five officers, who are now charged with murder.
- His mom said Friday that she hasn’t seen the video but heard it’s “very horrific, very horrific.”
The mother of Tyre Nichols pleaded on Friday for parents not to let their children watch the “horrific” police body- camera footage showing the fatal beating of her son in Memphis, Tennessee.
RowVaughn Wells said she has not viewed the video — which will be released to the public later Friday by Memphis officials — “But what I’ve heard is very horrific, very horrific and any of you who have children please don’t let them see it.”
“No mother, no mother, no mother should go through what I am going through right now to lose their child to the violent way that I lost my child,” Wells told a crowd gathered at the city’s Mt. Olive Cathedral Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.
Prosecutors say 29-year-old Nichols, who was Black, was severely beaten by five now-fired Memphis Police Department officers during a traffic stop on January 7. Nichols, a father, was hospitalized in critical condition and died three days later.
Attorneys for the Nichols family who have seen the body camera video said it shows five Black officers beating Nichols like a “human pinata” for three straight minutes.
A portrait of Tyre Nichols is displayed at a memorial service for him on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023 in Memphis, Tenn. Nichols was killed during a traffic stop with Memphis Police on Jan. 7.
Adrian Sainz/AP Photo
Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis has called the incident “heinous, reckless and inhumane,” while Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director David Rausch said he was “sickened” by the “appalling” footage.
Civil rights lawyer Ben Crump, who is representing the family, said Friday as he spoke alongside Wells that the footage shows Nichols “calling out” for his mother three times.
“His last words on this Earth — ‘Mom! Mom! Mom!’ I mean he’s screaming for her,” Crump said.
Wells added, “For a mother to know that a child was calling for them in their need, do you know how I feel right now because I wasn’t there for my son?”
Former officers Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Justin Smith, and Desmond Mills Jr. were indicted on Thursday on murder and other charges in connection to Nichols’ death.
Jail records show that all five officers have posted their bonds and were released as of Friday afternoon.
Meanwhile, the Nichols’ family urged the public for “peaceful” protests ahead of the release of the body camera footage.