CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The City of Memphis and the nation are bracing for the release of video showing the traffic stop that resulted in the death of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols earlier this month.
Nichols died three days after the incident. Five officers were fired and later charged with murder.
Police across the country are now responding and awaiting what happens and awaiting when that video is released Friday night.
Charleston Police Chief Luther Reynolds said that although the body camera video for the deadly incident has not yet been released – as of Friday afternoon – the way it was described to him was disturbing and goes against everything the Charleston Police Department stands for.
Chief Reynolds further condemned the behavior of the five former officers and said their actions are not in line with the core values taught to officers who serve in his department.
“What they did was completely contradictory to anything I would ever accept,” said Chief Reynolds. “And I’ve never seen anything like that. The way it’s been described, almost like a Rodney King type of event, except maybe even worse.”
The chief went on to say, “I think it’s important that we get ahead of that, I think it’s important for our communities to know that we care deeply about our communities, we care about our craft and our profession. I believe this is a noble profession, I believe people come into this job because they really want to make a difference because they want to save lives because they want to go out and solve problems and help people.”
Family members of Tyre Nichols spoke Friday afternoon alongside attorney Ben Crump, calling for peace in Memphis once the video is released to the public.
“We want peace. We do not want any type of uproar. We do not want any type of disturbance,” said Rodney Wells, Tyre Nichols’ stepfather. “Please, please, protest, but protest safely.”
Wells said that he initially wanted first-degree murder charges against the officers, but the family is satisfied with second-degree murder.
The five former officers have been released on bond.