Officials have released bodycam footage showing five Memphis Police Department officers brutally beating 29-year-old Tyre Nichols following a traffic stop.
In the video footage, officers are seen spraying Nichols with what appears to be pepper spray, beating him with a baton and kicking him in the head.
Nichols died three days after the incident.
The officers — Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills, Jr. and Justin Smith — were fired and charged with second-degree murder and other crimes.
Nichols’ family got an opportunity to watch the video prior to it being released to the public. RowVaughn Wells, Nichols’ mother, said Friday that she could not watch the video in its entirety due to its graphic nature.
“What I’ve heard is very horrific, very horrific. And any of you who have children, please don’t let them see it,” she said.
Wells added that the five police officers are a “disgrace” who brought shame to their families and their community. “For me to find out my son was calling out my name and I was only feet away and didn’t even hear him, you have no clue how I feel right now,” she said.
Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said Thursday that the video’s release is an attempt to be transparent with the community.
“The actions of these officers were awful, and no one, including law enforcement, is above the law,” he said. “I assure you we will do everything we can to keep this type of heinous act from happening again.”
The Department of Justice said on Friday that it opened a civil rights investigation into the case.