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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7:56 p.m. ET, January 27, 2023

Tyre Nichols heard screaming for his mom during confrontation with police

From CNN's Elizabeth Hartfield

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

A Memphis police officer is heard on newly released body camera video of the Jan. 7 arrest of Tyre Nichols, yelling at Nichols, “I’m going to baton the fuck out of you. Give me your fucking hands.”

Tyre Nichols screams for his mom as the video shows officer arriving on scene at a second location, in a residential neighborhood.

Officers tell Nichols to “give them his hand," as a struggle ensues on the ground. An officer asks Nichols, “Do you want to get sprayed again?” 

Two officers hit and kick Nichols as he is on the ground. Nichols screams, “Mooooom.”

An officer then appears to pepper spray Nichols. 

Nichols continue to scream for his mother during the incident.  

Officers continue to tell Nichols to give him their hands as Nichols continues to scream for his mother. 

10:46 p.m. ET, January 27, 2023

Protesters shut down bridge near downtown Memphis

From CNN's Dave Alsup

Protestors block traffic on the Interstate 55 bridge near downtown Memphis, Tennessee.
Protestors block traffic on the Interstate 55 bridge near downtown Memphis, Tennessee. (Ariel Cobbert for CNN)

A group of protesters has shut down the Interstate 55 bridge near downtown Memphis, Tennessee, according to a CNN team on scene. 

The group of about 200 protesters marched from Martyrs Park, on the southern end of downtown, to the bridge. By about 7 p.m. local time (8 p.m. ET), the group had blocked all lanes on the bridge.

Memphis police asked drivers to avoid the area of I-55 and the Arkansas Bridge. 

The demonstration came as CNN and other news outlets publicly played video of Tyre Nichols' beating by police for the first time.

The crowd could be heard chanting, "No justice, no peace."

Protestors block traffic on the Interstate 55 bridge.
Protestors block traffic on the Interstate 55 bridge. (Ariel Cobbert for CNN)

Watch more

7:55 p.m. ET, January 27, 2023

District attorney says video release is important to Nichols family because they want "world to be their witness"

From CNN’s Jamiel Lynch

Shelby County District Attorney Steven Mulroy said video footage of Tyre Nichols’ arrest was released “because it was important to the community and to Tyre’s family, as they want the world to be their witness and feel their pain.”

"But as we witness the tragic end of Tyre’s life, I also urge you to remember Tyre Nichols as his family does: with his big smile, skateboarding, and being a loving family member,” Mulroy said in a statement Friday night.

“It’s my hope that this tragedy can lead to a broader conversation on police reform. Memphis has a number of local community groups and I urge you to support them in their social justice efforts. We also commit to partnering with them and doing whatever we can with our resources to help our community heal.

“While nothing we do can bring Tyre back, we promise you that we are doing all we can to ensure that Tyre’s family, and our city of Memphis, see justice for Tyre Nichols,” he added.

8:10 p.m. ET, January 27, 2023

Video shows initial confrontation between Memphis Police and Tyre Nichols after traffic stop

From CNN's Elizabeth Hartfield

Tyre Nichols is seen during the initial traffic stop.
Tyre Nichols is seen during the initial traffic stop. (City of Memphis)

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

During the initial encounter between Tyre Nichols and Memphis Police, an officer can be seen driving to the scene of a traffic stop. The officer gets out of the car with his gun drawn on the scene. 

As the officer approaches the scene, an officer is yelling at Nichols to “Get the fuck out of the car.” 

Officers pull Nichols out of the vehicle and you can hear someone saying, “Get the fuck on the ground and turn his ass around.” Nichols responds, saying, “I didn’t do anything,” and, “Alright, I’m on the ground.” 

Officers yell at him to lie down and threaten to tase him. Another officer tells him, “Bitch, put your hands behind your back before I break them.”

Nichols can be heard telling them, “You guys are doing a lot right now. I am on the ground.”

A struggle ensues and Nichols gets up and runs, the officers begin to chase him.

The officer can be heard reporting in his radio that the suspect they had has run and gives a description of what Nichols was wearing. 

The officer returns back to the scene where other officers are coughing and one says that he can’t see anything. 

The officer find a bottle of water and they begin pouring it into their eyes. 

The officer unloads his taser cartridge.

7:45 p.m. ET, January 27, 2023

Biden says he is "outraged and deeply pained" to see video of the beating of Tyre Nichols

From CNN's Mary Kay Mallonee

President Joe Biden is “outraged and deeply pained to see the horrific video of the beating that resulted in Tyre Nichols’ death,” he said in a statement shortly after the city of Memphis released the footage Friday night.

“It is yet another painful reminder of the profound fear and trauma, the pain, and the exhaustion that Black and Brown Americans experience every single day,” the president said.

The president's statement came as CNN and other news outlets played the video for the public for the first time.

“The footage that was released this evening will leave people justifiably outraged. Those who seek justice should not to resort to violence or destruction. Violence is never acceptable; it is illegal and destructive. I join Mr. Nichols’ family in calling for peaceful protest,” Biden said.

7:01 p.m. ET, January 27, 2023

Memphis releases video footage of deadly police beating

The city of Memphis has released police body camera and surveillance video showing the traffic stop and violent police confrontation that led to the death of Tyre Nichols. 

CNN is reviewing the videos.

Five former Memphis officers are charged with second-degree murder and other counts, including assault and kidnapping.  

Two Memphis Fire Department employees who were part of Nichols’ initial care have been relieved of duty, pending the outcome of an internal investigation. 

6:58 p.m. ET, January 27, 2023

Here's what to expect to see in videos of Tyre Nichols' arrest

Memphis officials will release a little over an hour of footage of Tyre Nichols' deadly encounter with police, according to Shelby County District Attorney Steven Mulroy.

Mulroy, speaking to CNN ahead of the video being made public Friday night, said the material will include three body camera videos. One will be footage from "almost all" of officers' first encounter with Nichols.

This will show the moments shortly after Memphis officers pulled over Nichols' vehicle for suspected reckless driving, according to a statement from Memphis police. Mulroy said the video does include the initial traffic stop.

The other two body camera videos, plus a video showing an overhead view, will show the officers' second encounter with Nichols.

“A confrontation occurred” between officers and the vehicle’s driver — later identified as Nichols — who fled on foot after the initial traffic stop, according to Memphis police. Officers apprehended him and “another confrontation occurred,” resulting in Nichols’ arrest, police said.

Mulroy said people can expect to see "enough" of this second encounter, up until Nichols is taken away in an ambulance.

Five officer involved in the arrest have been charged with murder and kidnapping, Mulroy announced Thursday.

“But I suspect that the average viewer after watching the video will not have too much trouble understanding why all five officers are being held responsible for the death of Tyre Nichols and we are, in fact, confident that we have a strong case," he told CNN.
6:37 p.m. ET, January 27, 2023

Biden says Tyre Nichols' mother made "a very strong plea" for peace in wake of video's release

From CNN's Sam Fossum

Biden speaks to the media about Tyre Nichols before departing the White House in Washington, DC, January 27, as he heads to Camp David for the weekend.
Biden speaks to the media about Tyre Nichols before departing the White House in Washington, DC, January 27, as he heads to Camp David for the weekend. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

President Joe Biden spoke to reporters as he left the White House Friday night, relaying more from his discussion with Tyre Nichols' parents.

"She's obviously in enormous pain," Biden told reporters on the South Lawn of the White House, referring to Nichols' mother.

"I told her I have some idea of what that loss was like," the president added.

Biden said he told RowVaughn Wells he would continue to urge Congress to pass legislation on policing in the wake of her son's deadly beating by officers in Memphis, Tennessee.

"I expressed my condolences and told her that I was going to be making the case to the Congress to pass the George Floyd (Justice in Policing) Act. We should get this under control. I can only do so much with executive order, at the federal level," Biden said. 

The president also said he was "really pleased" that Wells called for "peaceful protest" and "no violence," adding they spoke for about 10 or 15 minutes. 

Asked if he was concerned about the potential for civil unrest or violence in the wake of the video's release, the president said: "I am, I'm obviously very concerned about it, but I think she has made a very strong plea" for peace.

6:27 p.m. ET, January 27, 2023

Family attorney Ben Crump says officers' actions were "so unnecessary, so uncalled for"

Ben Crump, an attorney for the family of Tyre Nichols
Ben Crump, an attorney for the family of Tyre Nichols (CNN)

Ben Crump, an attorney for the family of Tyre Nichols, said viewers can expect to see police officers display an "excessive use of force" along with "excessive profanity" in the video footage set to be released tonight of Nichols' arrest.

"It's just so unnecessary, so uncalled for that they continue to escalate the matter," Crump told CNN's Wolf Blitzer Friday. "You were hoping and praying as you watch this video that just one officer would say, 'Hey everybody, this kid isn't a criminal. He's calm. Let us be calm. Let's just de-escalate. Let's just everybody calm down.' But that never happened the entire video."

He said cops "brutalized" Nichols, and that in the video, "nobody is trying to render aid to help this young man who's clearly in distress."

On Thursday, a grand jury returned indictments against each of the five ex-cops. Crump said Friday that the charges were brought within 20 days because "that video clearly showed that these five Black police officers committed a crime."

"This is the blueprint going forward for America whether the officers are Black or White that they can't tell us it's going to take six months to a year to investigate before they can take action," he said.