MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Friends and family of the man who died following an encounter with police are wanting answers.
Tyre Nichols died Tuesday after he was hospitalized following what investigators call “a confrontation” with Memphis Police.
Many questions remain about what exactly happened during a traffic stop Saturday night that landed 29-year-old Tyre Nichols in the hospital and ultimately led to his death a few days later.
Perry Williams didn’t feel comfortable showing his face but told us he was friends with Nichols.
“We all want to find out what happened,” he said. “What happened to him, he didn’t deserve. It’s really sad. He didn’t deserve that.”
The TBI is now investigating what is described as a use of force incident after Memphis Police say a traffic stop in the area of Raines and Ross Roads went south.
Officers say they pulled Nichols over for reckless driving.
They say as they approached his car there was what they describe as a “confrontation” with Nichols who took off running.
He was eventually caught but before he was arrested police say there was another confrontation. After he was arrested, he complained of having shortness of breath and was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
“Running is not a death sentence,” Williams said. “It was sad just another young black man get injured and eventually die from police.”
Nichols was a father and an avid skateboarder.
“He wasn’t a violent person at all,” Williams said. “He was just a good guy.”
Nichols’ family says he wasn’t armed at the time of the incident. Williams hopes body camera footage from the officers that night is released.
We learned that Nichols was an employee at FedEx. The company said in a statement:
“We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of our team member, and our thoughts are with our colleague’s family, friends and co-workers during this difficult time. Any further questions should be directed to law enforcement at this time.”
It’s unclear how many officers were involved in the case and are on leave now during the investigation. We asked, but MPD told us, “all available information has been released.”