Memphis is preparing for public uproar when it reveals body-camera footage of a violent altercation between a Black motorist and five police officers accused of killing Tyre Nichols earlier this month on Friday.

Image Credit: AP

On Thursday, the five Black officers who were involved in the killing of another Black man named Nichols were each charged with second-degree murder, assault, kidnapping, official misconduct, and official oppression. Tyre Nichols died from injuries sustained during his encounter with police on January 10, three days after being pulled over while driving.

Tyre’s death was the latest in a series of high-profile cases in which police have been charged with using excessive force in the killings of Black people and other minorities in recent years, prompting public howls of protest against systemic racism in the criminal justice system of the United States.

After the May 2020 murder of George Floyd, a Black man who passed away after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for more than nine minutes, protests against racial injustice occurred all across the world.

The police have been incredibly evasive regarding Nichols’ arrest’s specific circumstances. When announcing the charges, even Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy, who sought the prosecution, gave a foggy account of the incident.

After being stopped for reckless driving, Nichols got into “an altercation” with the officers, who pepper sprayed him as he attempted to run away on foot, Mulroy claimed. He said, “Mr. Nichols sustained critical injuries after a second incident at a neighbouring location.”

The Video to be Released on Friday evening

It is anticipated that the video, which will be posted on Friday evening on the police department’s YouTube site, will contain footage from security cameras located on nearby utility poles, dashboard cameras mounted on police cars, and cameras worn by police officers.

The few people who saw the video before it was made public and have spoken about it have not given it a detailed description but have stated that it is quite upsetting.

“You are going to see acts that defy humanity. You’re going to see a disregard for life, the duty of care that we are all sworn to,” CNN was informed by Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis on Friday.

Memphis Public Prepares for Protests

RowVaughn Wells, mother of Tyre Nichols, who died after being beaten by Memphis police officers, at a candlelight vigil in Memphis, Tenn., on Jan. 26, 2023. (Gerald Herbert / AP)

Image Credit: AP

Police departments in other significant cities, including New York, Atlanta, and Washington, said they were getting ready for potential protests after the revelation of the video. Schools in Memphis were expected to close early, and Saturday morning activities were postponed.

In Memphis, a city of 628,000 people where roughly 65% of the population is Black, peaceful protests are being called for by President Joe Biden and the family on Thursday. Davis urged restraint, saying she expected those who saw the video “to feel outraged.”

Published by HOLR Magazine.