January 27, 2023 news on the death of Tyre Nichols

By Elise Hammond, Tori B. Powell, Matt Meyer, Aditi Sangal, Adrienne Vogt and Leinz Vales, CNN

Updated 8:38 AM ET, Sat January 28, 2023
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10:19 p.m. ET, January 27, 2023

How governors across the country are reacting to Nichols arrest video

From CNN’s Sara Smart

Governors across the country are reacting to video showing the deadly confrontation between Tyre Nichols and Memphis police. Many of them called for justice and accountability for the officers involved and urged peaceful protests.

  • Colorado Gov. Jared Polis called the incident "inhumane and appalling," saying that “violence has no place in our country, state, and communities." Polis said, “Americans need to be able to trust those who have chosen to protect them and serve their communities."
  • New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said on Twitter he was "horrified by the video footage released earlier today that showed Memphis police officers brutally and inhumanely beating Tyre Nichols. When those sworn to uphold the law violate the rights of those they serve, there must be accountability."
  • Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said his family was "deeply saddened" by the newly released footage. He said he is praying for the community and Nichols' family, adding, "As citizens express their grief and reactions to his killing, the state continues to respect the right of peaceful protest."
  • Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers called for peace in the next few days as more people speak out against police violence. "There must be a swift, thorough, and transparent investigation to ensure accountability, which is the first step toward justice, toward healing, and toward change," he said on Twitter.
  • Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin said, "The disturbing and shocking video released this evening displays incomprehensible violence towards another human being and we must condemn these heinous actions." Youngkin asked people to to come together and "treat one another with love and respect."
  • Delaware Gov. John Carney said the body camera footage showed that what happened to Nichols was a "obvious and excessive use of force, with the most tragic result." In a statement posted on Twitter, he pledged to "redouble our efforts to improve the relationships between police and the communities they serve" in Delaware.
  • Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said it was "difficult not to fight back tears watching this video." He said he is thankful that the Department of Justice is involved in the investigation and called for the officers to be "held to account for their barbarism."
  • Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said, "As we grapple with the pain of another Black life lost at the hands of law enforcement, we must recommit to stopping this pattern of violence—both in Minnesota and across the country," in a post on Twitter.
  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom said he sends his "deepest condolences" to Nichols' family, saying he "should be alive today. He said the video shows "abhorrent behavior and these officers must be held accountable for their deadly actions and clear abuse of power."
10:25 p.m. ET, January 27, 2023

Medical experts: Tyre Nichols probably died from internal injuries from blunt force trauma

From CNN’s Deidre McPhillips

Tyre Nichols is seen leaning against a police car.
Tyre Nichols is seen leaning against a police car. (City of Memphis)

Nichols probably died from internal injuries sustained from blunt force trauma, medical experts told CNN after watching the newly released videos of his traffic stop arrestFriday.

They said the body camera footage includes moments where the assault could have damaged a number of organs – including the liver, lungs or brain – and the damage to any of those could have been fatal. 

Nichols died three days after the police encounter in the hospital.

Dr. Kendall Von Crowns, chief medical examiner in Tarrant County, Texas, noted that Nichols’ slim figure meant his organs were “millimeters under his skin surface,” without much padding or other protection from a physical assault.

“When these kicks come in, they're hitting on what looks like the right side of his body," he said. "So, you know, your liver is sitting on that side. So he could easily be taking almost direct blows to his liver, which could cause his liver to lacerate or rupture, and that would cause hemorrhage into his abdominal cavity. These could also cause fractures of his ribs on his right side that then could be displaced by subsequent kicks and cause tearing or lacerations of his lungs, which again, cause hemorrhage into his chest cavity.” 

Internal hemorrhage could limit the amount of blood and oxygen that’s reaching the brain, he said, which could cause a person to become brain-dead before they die. 

Dr. Victor Weedn, a forensic pathologist at George Washington University, said it is not typical for people to die from external blood loss after a beating. 

He particularly noted the officers’ use of a baton, which would cause a more “focused” and powerful hit than a fist.

“Head trauma can cause death” from brain swelling and bleeding, Weedn said. “When the brain swells, it causes pressure, and it collapses the veins. When you collapse the veins, then you don't have blood circulation, and you can die."

CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta told CNN’s Erin Burnett that “the brain is the one organ in the body that doesn’t really have any room to swell, because it’s encased by the skull."

"As a result, someone may slowly, increasingly lapse into unconsciousness, which seemed to be what was happening with Mr. Nichols,” he said.

Internal hemorrhaging can quickly become deadly. 

Paramedics aren’t particularly equipped to help someone with internal injuries like these, Von Crowns said. The focus would have been getting him to the hospital for emergency surgery or transfusion as soon as possible.

“We're talking minutes,” he said. “He really needs to be treated right away.”

The videos show that medical help arrived several minutes later, after Nichols had been propped up beside a car with his hands cuffed behind his back. 

“A lot of lost time there, which is so critically important, with somebody who is essentially critically ill, lying on the ground in handcuffs there, with nobody attending to him,” Gupta said.

9:56 p.m. ET, January 27, 2023

Sheriff launches investigation and puts 2 deputies on leave after seeing arrest video  

From CNN’s Jamiel Lynch and Mark Morales

Two deputies with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office have been put on leave pending an investigation after the sheriff viewed the video in the Tyre Nichols’ case. 

In a statement, Sheriff Floyd Bonner Jr. said, “Having watched the videotape for the first time tonight, I have concerns about two deputies who appeared on scene following the physical confrontation between police and Tyre Nichols."

"I have launched an internal investigation into the conduct of these deputies to determine what occurred and if any policies were violated," Bonner said. "Both of these deputies have been relieved of duty pending the outcome of the administrative investigation.”

Two Memphis fire personnel are also on administrative leave pending an internal investigation into their actions at the scene, CNN has previously reported.

10:13 p.m. ET, January 27, 2023

Videos show more than 20 minutes pass before a stretcher arrives for Tyre Nichols

From CNN’s Jon Bonifield and Shawn Nottingham

Paramedics check on Tyre Nichols as he lays handcuffed on the ground surrounded by police officers
Paramedics check on Tyre Nichols as he lays handcuffed on the ground surrounded by police officers (Memphis Police Department/AFP/Getty Images)

Editor's note: This post contains graphic descriptions of violence.

Videos released by the Shelby County District Attorney’s office show the medical response to Tyre Nichols in the moments after his beating. 

In a body camera video, a first responder briefly appears to render aid to Nichols but then leaves him unattended on the ground. 

Nichols appears to attempt to push himself up to a sitting position a few minutes later while first responders stand around not aiding him. 

One person can be heard saying, “it’s going to be awhile for an ambulance”.

The pole cam shows that 23 minutes pass from the time Nichols appears to be subdued and on his back on the ground before a stretcher arrives on scene. Two minutes later, an ambulance pulls into frame.

9:43 p.m. ET, January 27, 2023

"Our hearts are broken, yet again": NBA teams react to Tyre Nichols video

From CNN's Jacob Lev

Basketball teams and groups are reacting to video footage released Friday of Tyre Nichols' fatal police encounter:

Memphis Grizzlies. Head coach Taylor Jenkins of the Memphis Grizzlies called Nichols' death a "stark reminder" of the position the team is in to unify the city. Before the tipoff of Friday's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, both teams held a moment of silence to honor Nichols at the Target Center in Minneapolis.

"The senseless loss of life for Tyre Nichols really hit us hard and it’s been tough being on the road, not being home," Jenkins told the Bally Sports Southeast broadcast. "I wish I could extend my arms through this camera right now. To the family - they’re going through a lot."

Minnesota Timberwolves. In a statement posted to Twitter, the Minnesota Timberwolves said the team is "deeply saddened by the tragic killing of Tyre Nichols."

"We extend our thoughts and heartfelt sympathies to Tyre's family, friends, loved ones, the Memphis community and communities across the country during this difficult time," the statement read.

Cleveland Cavaliers. On Twitter, the Cleveland Cavaliers said they "grieve with Tyre Nichols’ loved ones and offer them our deepest sympathies as they grapple with the pain of his heinous and brutal murder."

"We want to continue to be part of the solution. Through our organization’s ongoing partnership witih Law Enforcement in Northeast Ohio, we will continue doing the work to build bridges between communities of color and the region’s police departments," the team said in a statement.

Atlanta Hawks. The Atlanta Hawks said on Twitter Friday that they "stand with Memphis," and shared the hashtag "#JusticeForTyre."

Miami Heat. The Miami Heat called on fans and people in South Florida to protest peacefully.

"Our hearts are broken, yet again, with the killing of Tyre Nichols: a son, a brother, a father and a friend," the team said in a statement on Twitter. "Humanity is a right and not a privilege—one he was denied by five rogue law enforcement officers. While we are encouraged by the dual efforts of the Memphis Chief of Police and the District Attorney’s Office to take swift action, this tragic case underscores that demanding accountability from those who abuse their power is the first step to ending the abuse of power."

National Basketball Players Association. The NBPA said on Twitter that its players "mourn the loss of Tyre Nichols and extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to the Nichols family during this difficult time." The association also said it stands by "the rightful arrest of all officers involved."

"Such aggressive policing and excessive force illustrate the continued need for accountability in the justice system," the NBPA said.
9:18 p.m. ET, January 27, 2023

Video appears to show Nichols being repeatedly left twisting on the ground without assistance

From CNN's Andy Rose

Editor's note: This post contains graphic descriptions of violence.

The first responders at the scene where Tyre Nichols was beaten by police repeatedly walked away from him as he twisted on the pavement with his hands restrained, video taken from a pole-mounted camera showed.

About two minutes after paramedics started attending to Nichols, he is seen falling over to the side and seeming to hit his head against a piece of equipment after a bright light was shone in his face. No one appears to help Nichols as he tries to sit up, only to fall over again. About a minute later, officers are seen crowding around Nichols, only to step away as he again falls onto his side.

After nearly five minutes of standing over Nichols and occasionally shining a light toward his face, first responders walk away, and Nichols twists on the ground unhelped. Medical equipment is finally brought back to Nichols’ side about three minutes later.

An ambulance gurney arrives 28 minutes into the video, shortly after 9 p.m. CT, according to the video’s time stamp.

9:14 p.m. ET, January 27, 2023

Nichols' family attorney says he anticipates more charges as investigation continues

Antonio Romanucci, the attorney for Tyre Nichols’ family
Antonio Romanucci, the attorney for Tyre Nichols’ family (CNN)

Antonio Romanucci, an attorney for Tyre Nichols’ family, said he anticipates more charges for those involved in Nichols' death.

“I do anticipate more charges. I'm not going to say what the state's attorney is going to do, but I will say that in that room, that was absolutely discussed. It has not been ruled out," he told CNN Friday.

Five former Memphis police officers who were fired for their actions during the arrest of Nichols were indicted on charges including murder and kidnapping Thursday.

The former officers, Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Justin Smith, Emmitt Martin and Desmond Mills Jr., have each been charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, two charges of aggravated kidnapping, two charges of official misconduct and one charge of official oppression, Mulroy said.

Shelby County District Attorney Steven Mulroy also previously said the investigation is ongoing and there could be further charges.

"I can't guess what they're going to do, but is there any question that more charges should be brought? In my opinion, in this person's opinion, there is no doubt that failure to intervene, that failure to render medical aid, to assist a dying person, is unconscionable. There is no doubt that further charges should be brought, in my opinion," Romanucci said.
9:30 p.m. ET, January 27, 2023

"We saw a man essentially die at the hands of police": Memphis official emotionally describes Nichols video

Martavius Jones, the chair of the Memphis City Council, becomes emotional as he discusses the video with CNN's Don Lemon.
Martavius Jones, the chair of the Memphis City Council, becomes emotional as he discusses the video with CNN's Don Lemon. (CNN)

Martavius Jones, the chair of the Memphis City Council, was emotional discussing the newly released video of the deadly encounter between Tyre Nichols and Memphis police.

"We saw a man essentially die at the hands of police," he told CNN. Jones started crying when thinking about the footage, saying, "We all knew the fate of that young man."

Asked for his reaction to the video, Jones was not initially able to get any words out. He turned away from the camera and covered his face before grabbing a tissue, shaking his head.

“This was a traffic stop,” he said. “It wasn’t supposed to end like this."

Jones said his term on the city council is ending soon, but before he leaves his elected position, he vowed to do something to "build a better Memphis for Mr. Nichols," something he acknowledged would require hard conversations. Specifically, Jones pointed to the culture of policing and the mindset officers have when pulling over Black people.

"We have to let his legacy, his sacrifice, the sacrifice that his mother would not have her son anymore — we cannot let this go unaddressed. We cannot let this go unaddressed," he said.

“We have to do something," he said. “This wasn’t supposed to happen in our community," he added.

Watch more

8:47 p.m. ET, January 27, 2023

Video shows Tyre Nichols telling officers during initial confrontation: "I'm just trying to go home"

From CNN's Jamiel Lynch

Editor's note: This post contains graphic descriptions of violence.

During his initial confrontation with police, Tyre Nichols can be heard telling officers that he is “just trying to go home,” video released by the city of Memphis shows.

“Damn, I didn’t do anything," Nichols says, as officers approach him with their guns drawn.

“On the ground, on the ground,” officers can be heard yelling at him.

“Alright, I’m on the ground,” Nichols can be heard saying.

“Bitch, put your hands behind your back before I …. I’m going to knock your ass the fuck out," an officer yells at him.

Nichols responds: “You guys are really doing a lot right now. I’m just trying to go home.”

“Man, if you don’t lay down!” an officer says, to which Nichols responds: “I am on the ground!” 

“On your stomach!” an officer yells.

“I … am … please," Nichols says.

Nichols says one more time, "I'm not doing anything," before he starts struggling with officers, who deploy pepper spray. 

Nichols pulls away and starts to run as one officer tries to tase him.

Later clips show that officers beat Nichols on the ground after they caught up to him a short distance from his home.