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How the violent arrest of Tyre Nichols unfolded

Tyre Nichols was punched, kicked and tasered, beaten with a baton and had pepper spray used on him during a violent arrest by police in Memphis, video footage shows.

The father-of-one died three days after the beating he received on 7 January and five officers have been charged with second-degree murder.

Police initially said Mr Nichols had been stopped for reckless driving and that a “confrontation” occurred in an effort to detain him.

However Memphis police chief Cerelyn “CJ” Davis said a review of the incident could not “substantiate” the reckless driving claim.


Here is a timeline of the crucial moments from the footage – released by police – that recorded events from 8.24pm to 9pm.


This is the first sight of Mr Nichols’ car, already stopped at a junction where two officers order him to get out of his vehicle.

One of the officers opens the driver’s door and drags the 29-year-old out.

Mr Nichols can be heard telling them: “Damn, I didn’t do anything.”


As he is forced to the ground and sworn at, Mr Nicols can be heard trying to pacify the police saying: “All right, all right.”

One of the officers tells him: “I’m going to tase your ass.”

Mr Nichols says: “All right, I’m on the ground… Stop, stop… You guys are really doing a lot right now. I’m just trying to go home… Stop. I’m not doing anything.”

He then breaks free and runs away in the direction of his mother’s house.

An officer fires his Taser and police chase after him.

8.26pm to 8.31pm

There is no video of Mr Nichols during this time, when apparently two officers catch and detain Mr Nichols.


Mr Nichols is seen on the ground being subdued by two officers, less than half a mile from where the traffic stop happened.


A third officer arrives on the scene.

One of them says: “Do you want to get sprayed again?”

Two officers can then be seen punching and slapping Mr Nichols as he lies on the ground trying to protect his head from the blows and screaming: “Mom. Mom.”

The newly arrived officer tells his colleagues to “watch out” before spraying Mr Nichols, who again cried out: “Mom. Mom.”

His mother’s house is just a short distance away.

An officer then orders Mr Nichols to “give me your hands.”

A fourth policeman arrives on the scene.

Mr Nichols is then sprayed again which apparently also hits another officer, who can be heard swearing.


One of the officers kicks Mr Nichols in the face twice.

The officer who had stepped away returns and says, “I’m going to baton the f*** out of you” raising his stick.


The officer with the baton hits Mr Nichols with it three times as other officers begin to stand him up.

One officer punches Mr Nichols at least five times in the head while two others hold him up.

He falls to the ground and officers hold him down.


A fifth officer arrives on scene and kicks Mr Nichols, before another officer kicks him.

A sixth and seventh officer arrive who appear to observe the scene. One of them makes a call on his radio.


Officers step back with Mr Nichols now in handcuffs.


Mr Nichols is dragged across the ground and propped sitting up against a patrol car.


Officers stand around discussing the incident, laughing and joking.

One complains about having hurt his leg.


Mr Nichols slumps to his right to the ground.

“Hey, sit up, bro,” one officer says. Mr Nichols is grabbed by the arm and pulled back into a sitting position.

Two emergency medical staff arrive but is unclear what treatment if any is given.

8.41pm to 8.55pm

Mr Nichols remains on the ground as officers mill around.

One leans down and tells him: “You can’t go nowhere.”

8.55pm to 9pm

Emergency workers appear to begin tending to Mr Nichols again as he is propped up against the police car.


A stretcher is wheeled into the area and two minutes later an ambulance arrives.


Mr Nichols complains of difficulty breathing and is taken to hospital.

A post-mortem examination later reveals he “suffered excessive bleeding caused by a severe beating”.


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