MEMPHIS, Tenn. — As the public braces for the release of body camera footage showing the confrontation that may have led to Tyre Nichols’ death, city officials are preparing for what that might mean for Memphis.
WREG spoke with a city councilman about the decision to release that video, and some of the speculation going around.
Police body camera video is expected to be released, but the mayor said not until early next week. The video will be shown to Nichols’ family before it is released to the public.
At this point, city officials are hoping for and encouraging calm but still preparing for a more vocal response.
Protests surrounding the death of Tyre Nichols have already started city councilman Frank Colvett says the city is preparing for the possibility of more.
“Memphis is always preparing for any and all eventualities. Our law enforcement is up to speed,” he said.
This comes just days before officials are expected to release the body camera video showing the final moments before Nichols was taken to the hospital on January 7.
According to MPD, Nichols complained of shortness of breath following two confrontations stemming from a traffic stop. But a photo shared with WREG shows a swollen, bleeding Nichols breathing through tubes.
He died three days later.
“If what they say is on that video, these police officers did this, it’s disgusting, it’s horrific,” Colvett said.
Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy called for a TBI use of force investigation immediately following the incident. Now, he says releasing the video is important to maintain trust within the community.
“Transparency is very important in a case like this. I’m aware there is a lot of concern over cases like, sometimes, a lack of public trust, concern about whether there’s going to be a coverup, whether everyone is going to be objective and do what they need to do,” said Mulroy.
Colvett agrees with the DA and adds, while he hasn’t seen the video yet, he wants the public to know they want to get to the bottom of this and handle it accordingly.
“We are a city of laws. No matter how disgusting this video is, make no mistake, it does not matter what uniform you wear, what kind of shirt you wear, what job you have, you are not above the law,” said Colvett. “If these men, if this video is as disgusting as I’m told it is, then they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Colvett wants the public to remember the actions of a few officers do not speak for the entire department, and there are 1,900 officers who set out each day to do good for our city.
He says he knows this situation is upsetting and he wants them to rest assured they are being heard, so he encourages people to come to city council meetings and reach out to their council members with any comments, questions, or concerns.