Tenn. representative reacts after traffic stop leads to man’s brutal death

Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 11:33 PM CST
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - On Monday, the family of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols and their attorneys watched body camera footage from the traffic stop that they say led to his death.

The video shows the confrontation between police and Nichols who died three days later.

Memphis Police have not publicly put out the video, however, attorneys who have reviewed it said it is “appalling” and “violent”. They said it shows the officers beating, tasing and pepper-spraying Nichols.

The family of Nichols said he spent his evenings going to work with his dad at FedEx and was a father himself. It was a life cut short earlier this month.

“He was a human piñata for those police officers,” attorney Antonio Romanucci said. “It was adulterated, the unabashed beating of this young boy for three minutes.”

“I know everybody says they have a good son, but my son was actually a good boy,” his mother said.

His mother could not make it even a minute into the body camera footage the family and their attorneys viewed Monday. They said the video shows Memphis Police officers beating Nichols during a traffic stop earlier this month.

“It reminded us of the Rodney King video,” civil rights attorney Ben Crump said.

Crump, who represented the families of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, is representing the Nichols family.

“We have to have accountability no matter who tramples on the constitutional rights of our citizens,” Crump said.

After the news conference, WSMV 4 met with Memphis Rep. Antonio Parkinson at his legislative office in Nashville.

“How on earth could African Americans do this to another African American male,” Parkinson said.

Parkinson said it is upsetting and confusing to the black community.

“The challenge is, you can’t change the hearts of men no matter how many policies we put forth,” Parkinson said. “It won’t change the hearts of the people.”

Attorneys said Nichols was just about 100 yards away from his home. They said the last words on the video were calls for his mom.

“Where is the humanity,” Crump said.

“We mourn with the family in the loss of their son, and I hope they know we will do everything we can so nothing like this happens again,” Parkinson said.

The video is expected to be released publicly in the next week or two. All five officers have been fired, and the family is fighting for them to be charged with murder.