MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The calls for accountability are growing after a Memphis man died after being arrested by Memphis Police officers last week.
Supporters of Tyre Nichols came together for a protest Saturday. The 29-year-old died days after being arrested by Memphis Police after they say he was driving recklessly.
Prior to taking Nichols into custody, officers reportedly got into a “confrontation” with him, which left Nichols hospitalized.
Rodney Wells is Nichols’ stepfather. He tells WREG his son ended up suffering a cardiac arrest and kidney failure because of the alleged beating by officers.
“When we got to the hospital, it was devastating. It was almost as though he was killed on the scene,” Wells said. “All of that still should not occur because of a traffic stop. You shouldn’t be on a dialysis machine looking like this because of a traffic stop that’s inhumane.”
It is an outcome that inspired a protest outside a Memphis Police Precinct Saturday as dozens brought their message directly to officers.
“I feel like this is the time that we need to speak up about police brutality, obsessive force, the killings, the shootings and have some for real police accountability,” community activist Paula Buress said.
Among the things Nichols’ supporters are demanding is the release of the body camera footage of the arrest, which is under investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
“If you are saying this has happened, that happening in your reports, show us,” said community activist Casio Montez. “That’s what you got the body cam for. We are not accepting anything less.”
That is a sentiment shared by Nichols’ family as they prepare for the unexpected burial of a father, brother, and colleague.
“We wouldn’t be so mad if it was a car accident or something, but you beat somebody to death and we ain’t gone never be right,” Nichols’ aunt Toni Carter said.
There is no word yet on if there are any plans for the footage to be released. Nichols is set to be buried next week.