Tyre Nichols’s family said that the body camera footage of his encounter with police made them angry, sad, and want to know more about why he was beaten up. Rodney Wills, his stepfather, and RowVaughn Wells, his mother, talked to ABC News Live on Friday night after the video came out. They said they hoped everyone would watch the whole thing and see how badly the police hurt their son.
On the video, Nichols, who is 29, can be heard crying out for his mother. RowVaughn Wells told ABC News that she felt his pain in his last moments, even though she wasn’t with him. When the video of Tyre Nichols’s death caught on a police camera was made public, his parents vowed to get justice. Rodney Wells said that the video shows that his son never posed a threat to the police.
“I just want them to see why they charged these police officers with murder,” he said. “For an individual to weigh 150 pounds and to be brutalized by five officers is unheard of and we needed the public to see it so they can make their own judgment.”
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“They did not know the character of the person who they were brutalizing. They did not know that he was such an outstanding citizen.”
— ABC News Live (@ABCNewsLive) January 28, 2023
RowVaughn Wells said the police told her that her son was tased and pepper sprayed, but when she saw how badly he was hurt in the hospital, she knew it was a much more violent situation.
“They had him on all these breathing machines. He’d already went into cardiac arrest and his kidneys were failing, and so it just shocked me because I was told something else,” she said.
Nichols’ stepfather said that the video showed that more officers and first responders didn’t care at all about his son’s safety. He said that they should be charged for this.
“So everyone [who] was active in the whole scene…should be charged,” he said.
Ben Crump, the lawyer for the family, told ABC News that the video makes it harder to figure out who did it. One of the videos shows that Nichols was first met by a white officer who has not been named. Crump asked why that officer has not been charged.
The sheriff of Shelby County said Friday that two sheriff’s deputies who were at the scene of the police confrontation have been taken off duty pending an investigation. This happened soon after the video was released.
Their names were not given out right away.
“You have a man literally laying down in distress, dying, and people are just talking like this is business as usual. Had Tyree not succumbed to his injuries, how many more times would they have done this and how many times have they done it before?” he said.
Nichols’ mother said that she would miss her son’s smile and the way he treated his family with kindness, but she felt that he had done what God had asked of him.
“That’s what keeps me going because I’m not going to stop until I get justice for my son,” she said.
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