Tyre Nichols police report: Cop is the victim, ‘irate’ Nichols grabbed for gun. Video contradicts it all

Video evidence shows how officers approached Nichols' car while threatening and abusing him, pulled him out, and then pushed him to the ground. The police report filed paints a different scene.

The police report filed in Memphis, Tennessee, following the beating of Tyre Nichols lists the officer who filed it as the victim and the now-deceased FedEx employee as an “irate” assailant. However, video footage strongly contradicts these assertions.

Nichols, 29, died three days after the Jan. 7 beating. The police report, filed early the following morning, claims he tried to fight Memphis police officers, even reaching for one of their weapons, according to The New York Times. The videos, made public last week, show otherwise.

Instead, video footage shows how the authorities approached Nichols’ car while threatening and abusing him, pulled him out, then pushed him to the ground. He attempts to follow their demands and runs away at one point — after being pepper-sprayed — before the officers catch up to him and deliver the ultimately deadly drubbing.

Tyre Nichols
A group of demonstrators gathers at dusk in Shelby Farms Park on Jan. 30, 2023, in Memphis, Tennessee, in response to the death of Tyre Nichols, who died after being beaten by Memphis police officers. Nichols, who had a hobby in photography, frequented the park to photograph sunsets. (Photo: Gerald Herbert/AP)

Nichols says: “You don’t do that, OK?” and then tries to follow officers’ contradictory commands to get on the ground while he is already lying down, per video evidence. “All right, I’m on the ground,” he says before responding, “Yes, sir,” to another demand.

However, the cops persisted in being combative, with one threatening to “break” Nichols’ hands. Nichols begged them to stop and said at one point, “You guys are really doing a lot right now.”

Videos from the site showed the police officers who had beaten Nichols laughing about the incident and describing it in detail as the doctors arrived. One of the policemen claimed to have attacked Nichols with “haymakers.” Police insisted Nichols had to be using drugs, despite the lack of supportive evidence.

Police conducted a traffic stop on Nichols for allegedly reckless driving, the police filing notes. The father of one “was refusing a lawful detention by a law enforcement officers and he started to fight with detectives,” according to the officer who reported the arrest. But Nichols was not at all contentious in the video since gone public.

The police report does not go into depth about the pummeling that the cops gave Nichols, which occurred less than 100 yards from the residence of his mother, to whom he was crying out.

Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr., and Justin Smith — all Black — have each been dismissed from the Memphis Police Department and charged with seven felonies associated with Nichols’ death, including second-degree murder, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct, and aggravated assault.

Two more Memphis police officers are suspended as of Monday, including Officer Preston Hemphill. Hemphill, who is white, used his Taser on Nichols and later, as his body camera recorded, said aloud, “I hope they stomp his ass.” 

Gina Sweat, the city’s fire chief, also dismissed two emergency medical technicians and a lieutenant, claiming they violated several rules.

The fire chief claimed the emergency personnel technicians were responding to a report of a person who had been pepper-sprayed, relying on information provided to them on the scene— possibly by some of the police officers who kicked and punched Nichols and slapped him with a baton.

Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis said inquiries into whether Nichols was recklessly driving have been unsuccessful.

Prosecutors were still deciding whether to file more charges in connection with the beating, according to a statement from the district attorney’s office on Monday.

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