According to attorney Ben Crump, the brutal smoke break was “as outrageous as it was cruel”.
Memphis, Tenn. — As their son bled from fatal injuries, the family. Of Tyree Nichols said Friday that police not only failed to help. At least one officer smoked a cigarette in the moments after the fatal beating.
Memphis Police Chief C.J. The family’s comments came hours. Before police were set to release body camera footage of the Jan. 7 arrest. Describing Davis as “vile, reckless and inhumane.”
A grand jury on Friday indicted five former Memphis police officers. Charging them with second-degree murder in connection with Nichols’ death.
Family attorney Ben Crump and the victim’s stepfather, Rodney Wells. Viewed police video of the confrontation before Friday night’s public release.
“That was almost the worst part,” Wells told TTN News. “Not only were they smoking cigarettes, no one was looking at my (injured) son.”
After Nichols was beaten near Castlegate Lane. Videos of the encounter released by the Memphis Police Department on Friday. Night showed an officer wearing a “Police” hoodie walking. Away from colleagues and lighting a cigarette. Nichols, 29, was hospitalized. In critical condition after the encounter and died three days later.
“It almost seems as if the failure to render aid was as outrageous as the brutality,” Crump said.
The attorney accused police of treating the violence shown. In the footage as a disturbingly routine part of their job.
“They’re talking about it like it’s business as usual,” the attorney said. “‘Man I was hitting him with a straight haymaker,’ is what he said.”
Police footage showed Nichols repeatedly calling for his mother. And writhing in pain after the beating.
But Nichols’ cries were likely more literal and less of a longing to see a dead mother. loved ones said, because the beating happened a short distance from his parents’ home.
“He hoped we would have heard him so we could have come out to help him,” Wells said.
Nichols’ death has sparked widespread outrage. With law enforcement agencies across the country poised for protests. After the release of police bodycam video. Five officers — Tadarius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III. Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith — were charged Thursday. With Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy saying. Their actions led to Nichols’ death.
They were booked into the Shelby County Jail on charges of second-degree murder. Two counts of official misconduct, two counts of aggravated kidnapping. One count of official oppression and one count of aggravated assault. Prosecutors announced Thursday.
All five were out on bond as of Friday morning, jail records show.
Preliminary results of an autopsy conducted by a forensic. Pathologist for Nichols’ family show he was severely. Beaten before he died, the family’s attorneys said. The Shelby County Medical Examiner’s. Office has not released an official cause of death.
Nichols’ case is being investigated by the Tennessee. Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Justice. Which has launched a civil rights investigation into the traffic stop.
“That was my son. He was just a light,” Wells said. “She was a beautiful soul. She touched everyone she was around.”
Wells said he wanted to spend one more moment with his son while he was conscious.
“I love him so much and mom is going to miss him,” she said. “That’s what I used to say.“