Release of new video, audio of Tyre Nichols’ arrest stalled by judge
Just before the release of 20 hours of footage, a judge delayed the release to allow the state and defendants to review the footage
By Jessica Schladebeck
New York Daily News
MEMPHIS — The planned release of additional footage showing the violent arrest of Tyre Nichols was stalled due to a challenge filed on behalf of one of the former officers charged in his death.
The delay was confirmed by Allison Fouche, a spokesman for the Memphis mayor’s office, on Wednesday afternoon.
During a council meeting earlier this week, the city’s chief legal officer, Jennifer Sink, revealed officials were planning to make public another 20 hours of video and audio related to the January police beating of Nichols.
However, hours before the anticipated release, a judge demanded its delay “until such a time as the state and the defendants have reviewed this information.” The order is in response to a motion filed by Blake Ballin, an attorney for Desmond Mills, one of the since-fired police officers involved in Nichols’ violent arrest.
Nichols was pulled over on Jan. 7 in Memphis’ Hickory Hill neighborhood on allegations of reckless driving, which authorities say they have been unable to substantiate.
Video released weeks after Nichols’ death directly contradicted officers’ version of events, sparking protests against police brutality in Memphis and beyond. It shows officers punching, tasing and kicking Nichols, who died three days after the brutal beatdown.
Last month, Shelby County prosecutor Steven Mulroy revealed the most notable aspect of the unreleased footage is the audio, which captures comments made in the wake of the beating and after an ambulance took Nichols to the hospital.
He also hinted that the footage could play a role in the consideration of additional charges.
Sink on Tuesday confirmed another officer has since been fired from the department for their involvement in the deadly confrontation. She noted seven of the 13 Memphis police officers investigated after the violence have been fired, WREG reported.
That includes Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Justin Smith, Emmitt Martin III and Mills, all of who were criminally charged in connection with Nichols’ death. They are each facing counts of second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression.
All of the officers have pleaded not guilty.
The city wanted to release the footage only after investigators completed their internal probe, Sink noted.
The Department of Justice on Wednesday also revealed it has launched it own investigation into the Memphis Police Department’s use of force and a separate examination of specialized police units nationwide.
All five officers charged in Nichols’ death were members of the now-deactivated SCORPION unit, initially established to battle crime, auto theft and gang activity in the city.