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Video footage of Tyre Nichols’ violent arrest on Jan. 7 will be released on YouTube in four parts — showing the initial stop, the stop near Nichols’ home and body-worn camera footage of the individuals at the scene — sometime Friday evening, Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn “CJ” Davis said.
CNN has obtained portions of the police scanner audio leading up to the 29-year-old Black driver’s arrest. Portions of the audio are inaudible, but a brief part of the conversation between an officer and the dispatcher can be heard.
An officer is heard saying, “We got one Black male running,” and giving instructions to “run that car registration tag and see what’s the address,” followed by what sounds like Nichols in distress.
It’s not clear where this audio fits in the sequence of the incident or which officer is speaking.
Family attorneys watched the video on Monday and described it as “heinous.” Nichols was tased, pepper-sprayed and restrained, family attorney Ben Crump said, and compared it to the LAPD beating of Rodney King.
Crump described the video as “appalling,” “deplorable” and “heinous.” He said Wells, Nichols’ mother, was unable to get through viewing the first minute of the footage after hearing Nichols ask, “What did I do?” At the end of the footage, Nichols can be heard calling for his mother three times, the attorney said.
Tyre Nichols’ mother, RowVaughn Wells, was unable to get through viewing the first minute of the footage, according to Attorney Benjamin Crump. (Ariel Cobbert for CNN)
Nichols fled from the police, according to Rodney Wells, his stepfather, because he was afraid.
“Our son ran because he was scared for his life,” Wells said Monday. “He did not run because he was trying to get rid of no drugs, no guns, no any of that. He ran because he was scared for his life. And when you see the video, you will see why he was scared for his life.”
In timing the video’s release, Davis told CNN Friday that “we thought about schools, we thought about businesses and we felt like Friday afternoon if there were individuals [who] decided they wanted to peacefully protest, at least other individuals would have gone home, schools would be out and it wouldn’t be as disruptive as it would have been if we released it on … on a Wednesday afternoon.”
“A lot of the people’s questions about what exactly happened will, of course, be answered once people see the video,” Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy told CNN’s Laura Coates Tuesday night, noting he believes the city will release enough footage to show the “entirety of the incident, from the very beginning to the very end.”
Five Memphis Police Department officers, who also are Black, were fired after an internal investigation and are facing criminal charges, including second-degree murder.