WHERE IS BLACK LIVES MATTER? LAWYERS SAY 5 BLACK MEMPHIS POLICE OFFICERS BEAT 29-YEAR-OLD TYRE NICHOLS, A BLACK MAN, LIKE A “HUMAN PINATA”; THE FIVE OFFICERS WERE FIRED FOLLOWING THE INCIDENT
A 29-year-old black man who died after a police traffic stop in Tennessee was beaten like a “human piñata”, lawyers for his family said.
Tyre Nichols died of unspecified injuries on 10 January, three days after he was stopped by Memphis police for reckless driving.
His family on Monday saw footage of Mr Nichols’s encounter with police and described a violent, disturbing scene.
The Memphis Police Department has fired five officers following the incident.
“My son was a beautiful soul,” said Mr Nichols’s mother, Rowvaughn Wells. “Nobody is perfect, but he was damn near.”
She said he had not used drugs, nor carried weapons, and did not like confrontation. She called his death a “murder” by police.
On 7 January, the day Mr Nichols was stopped by Memphis police, he had been on his way to Shelby Farms Park, Mrs Wells said, where he liked to skateboard and watch each evening’s sunset.
City officials have said police officers pulled over Mr Nichols for reckless driving and that two “confrontations” occurred during the stop.
According to authorities, the first happened as officers approached the vehicle being driven by Mr Nichols, and he attempted to flee on foot. They said the second confrontation happened when officers tried to arrest him.
Mr Nichols then complained of shortness of breath and was taken by ambulance to hospital, police said, where he was listed in a critical condition. Officials said Mr Nichols had “succumbed to his injuries” on 10 January, but they provided no further detail. An official cause of death has not yet been disclosed.
Source: BBC, Holly Honderich
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