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On January 7, around 8:30 p.m., Memphis officers pulled over a vehicle for reckless driving, according to a statement from Memphis police. However, the Memphis police chief, Cerelyn Davis, said in an interview with NBC that the department had not been able to confirm why Mr. Nichols the driver (top pic) had been stopped.
The five officers - Demetrius Haley, Tadarrius Bean, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr and Justin Smith (bottom pic) - were fired last week. They were taken into custody on Thursday and each faces charges of second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression.
Here’s what happened:
About 8:24 p.m. Officers confront Tyre Nichols at a traffic stop.
Officers stop Mr. Nichols at the and push him to the ground. As officers wrestle with him, Mr. Nichols can be heard saying, “I didn’t do anything.”
About 8:25 p.m. The first struggle occurs, and Mr. Nichols flees.
Several officers try to forcefully pin Mr. Nichols to the ground, shouting expletives and threats. Mr. Nichols can be heard saying: “OK! I am on the ground,” and: “You guys are really doing a lot right now. I'm just trying to go home.” Seconds later, officers appear to use a stun gun on him. He breaks free and starts running, with at least two officers running after him.
About 8:33 p.m. Officers beat Mr. Nichols repeatedly for about three minutes. One of the four videos released by the city of Memphis shows Mr. Nichols already on the ground less than half a mile from where the traffic stop occurred. Officers slap and push Mr. Nichols, who screams, “Mom!” Mr. Nichols’s mother’s house is 60 yards away.
A police officer sprays Mr. Nichols in the face with a chemical spray. “Give me your hands!” yell the officers, as Mr. Nichols tries to wipe his face. “All right, all right,” he says, and moves to put his hands behind his back. “Watch out, I’ll spray your eyes again,” one officer says as he sprays Mr. Nichols another time. Two officers pin Mr. Nichols while a third kicks him near his face at least two times. “Hit him!” one officer yells as another circles Mr. Nichols, beating him with a baton. The struggle continues for several minutes as officers shove and drag him. At least one officer punches Mr. Nichols, who is now standing, several times in the head. Mr. Nichols staggers around, restrained at both sides, and then collapses, and officers pin him face down. He remains there for almost two minutes.
Throughout the struggle, Mr. Nichols appears to have been kicked violently at least twice in the face, beaten three times with a baton, sprayed in the face twice with a chemical and punched in the head six times, all within the span of three minutes.
About 8:37 p.m. Mr. Nichols is handcuffed and immobile.
Mr. Nichols is eventually handcuffed and is critically injured. Officers drag him to a nearby car and prop him up in a seated position. At one point, Mr. Nichols slumps to the ground, and an officer props him back against the car.
About 8:41 p.m. After medics arrive, 16 minutes pass before first aid is provided. Two medics arrive on the scene a few minutes after Mr. Nichols is placed against the car and check on Mr. Nichols, but they do not appear to be in a hurry. Almost 16 minutes later, medics appear to open their medical bags for the first time, and provide aid. Minutes later, officers bring in a stretcher, and an ambulance arrives at about 9:02 p.m. In total, he remains at the car for more than 24 minutes as officers walk around.
About 9:18 p.m. Mr. Nichols is transported to St. Francis Hospital.
Mr. Nichols complains of shortness of breath and is taken to St. Francis Hospital, about six miles away. An autopsy report later found that he “suffered excessive bleeding caused by a severe beating.”
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Sources: NYT, Fox, NBC