► UPDATE, JAN. 17: MPD says it will release video footage from Tyre Nichols arrest
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — Activists, friends, and family members of Tyre Nichols, the 29-year-old who died last week after a confrontation with Memphis Police, protested outside the National Civil Rights Museum as thousands gathered to mark Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
“I am a man! Tyre was a man!” protesters chanted.
Family members said they’re hurt, they’re angry, they’re distraught and they’re calling for those officers involved to be fired and charged with murder.
They also demanded the release of police body cam footage from the incident.
The demands to see body camera footage from the officers involved in the chase and confrontation with Nichols comes less than 24 hours after Memphis Police Chief CJ Davis and Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland released a joint statement saying officers involved in the traffic stop that ultimately led to Nichols’ death have been served notice of “impending administrative action.”
Nichols’ family says the incident made him go into cardiac arrest, left him with a broken neck, and suffer from other medical issues.
“It doesn’t mean anything to me until the officers are arrested and charged. It doesn’t mean anything, those are words. We need action,” said Nichols’ stepfather Rodney Wells.
The law offices of well-known civil rights attorney Ben Crump told us Monday they’re representing Nichols’ family in the case.
His sister Keyana Dixon tearfully told us his family now lives in a nightmare.
“Our family will never be the same because of a cruel act over a traffic stop,” said Dixon. “We just want justice for my baby brother. He did not deserve this.”
They’re now calling for the release of the officer’s body camera footage and other video captured in the area at the time of the incident.
“He was 6’3, 145/50 pounds, soakin’ wet,” said Wells.
“They know, they got the notification that they are in error and they are wrong,” said attorney Kareem Ali.
The family says Nichols has never been in trouble and he was a skateboarder who liked to take pictures.
“He was real infectious. You know when he comes through the door he wants to give you a hug,” said Wells. “Tyre’s not a gangster. He didn’t have a thug bone in his body.”
Wells, who worked with his son at FedEx, says he’s now on a mission.
“The only thing that has meaning to me right at this point is getting justice for my son. That’s it, that’s all,” he said.
The city says before it can discipline or terminate the employees, they must go through a required procedural process, which is expected to be completed later this week. In the meantime, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is also conducting a use-of-force investigation.