Memphis officers worried about getting pepper spray out of their own eyes first and even enjoyed a cigarette as Tire Nichols lay dying on the floor.
Shocking footage from Nichols’ encounter with police at a traffic check shows the moment when police sprayed the 29-year-old with pepper spray, one officer appearing to accidentally spray himself and another.
The officers scream in pain and Nichols is then beaten with a baton. Later, an officer was seen asking another agent to rinse his eyes with water, while the assisting officer complained that he had lost his glasses at the first traffic stop.
After the five officers beat and handcuffed Nichols, who was unable to sit up and was slumped on the floor, one of the officers was seen lighting a cigarette and smoking when paramedics arrived.
The videos surrounding Nichols’ death are still under scrutiny as Sheriff Floyd Bonner Jr. of Shelby County launched a new internal investigation after he suspended two deputies who stood by as Nichols was left writhing in pain.
A Memphis officer was seen crying in pain from having to have his eyes washed after spraying Tire Nichols with pepper spray
At the scene of the arrest, where Nichols was ignored after being left writhing in pain, one of the officers was seen smoking a cigarette while others simply stood around him.
One of the videos released by the Memphis Police Department shows the moment when Nichols was sprayed in the face with pepper spray after screaming for his mother.
The spraying officer appeared to grab himself and another as they sprang from the scene of the arrest, cursing and screaming in pain.
“Ah s***,” you heard the officers say as someone wiped his face and walked back to Nichols, who was back on his feet.
‘Watch out! I’m going to beat the hell out of you,” the officer said, brandishing his baton as another dork slaps Nichols.
After all five officers arrive at the scene, they can be heard saying, “Ah, you bastard made me squirt myself.”
Another video shows one of the Memphis officers pacing back and forth in pain as a fellow officer pours water into his eye to wash away the mace.
As he repeatedly asks for each of his eyes to be cleaned, the assisting officer says, “I can’t see Jack s***.” My glasses, when he fought me.’
The officer eventually finds his glasses and notices that he almost got pepper spray in his own eye.
One of the officers hit by their own pepper spray paced back and forth in pain while another poured water into his eyes. The assisting officer complained about losing his glasses, and when the group learned of Nichols’ arrest, one of them remarked that they hope he had been beaten.
The arrest scene reveals officers standing around, one smoking, as Tire lay dying
Shelby County Sheriff Floyd Bonner Jr. has suspended two deputies who responded to the scene after watching the video that left him ‘sad and angry’
When told that Nichols has been caught and detained by other cops, one of them remarks, “I hope they beat him up.” I hope they beat him up.’
At the arrest scene, a street camera captured the moment when a group of officers beat Nichols, pinned him to the ground, and arrested him.
The 29-year-old is then left writhing in pain as seven officers could be seen standing over him, punching each other four times and ignoring the dying man.
One of them eventually pulls out a cigarette and enjoys a cigarette while talking to his fellow officers before the ambulance arrives.
Sheriff Bonner has condemned the attack that killed Nichols after he was tased, kicked and punched in the head, struck three times with a metal baton and sprayed twice in the face with pepper spray.
“I am a second-generation law enforcement officer and I am concerned about what we have all seen on video,” Bonner said in a statement. “This terrible incident has tarnished the badge I wear, and many other good officers who wear every day.
The sheriff has since suspended two deputies and ordered a new investigation into Tire Nichols’ death after personally viewing the sickening video.
Bonner said, “Having watched the video tape for the first time tonight, I am concerned about two deputies arriving on the scene after the physical confrontation between the police and Tire Nichols.
“I have launched an internal investigation into the behavior of these deputies to determine what happened and whether any policy violations have occurred,” he added. “Both deputies are relieved pending the outcome of this administrative inquiry.”
Nichols died in hospital after being tased, kicked and punched in the head, struck three times with a metal baton and sprayed with pepper spray in the face twice
Nichols’ family attorney – Antonio Romanucci, told MSNBC that the two suspended deputies could face criminal charges, like the five caught on camera beating the 29-year-old.
“I wouldn’t be surprised at all if there were more criminal charges against police officers,” Romanucci said. ‘Am I surprised it’s taking so long?
“I’ve been at it long enough, I’ve had to wait six months, a year to two years or not at all before an indictment came, so the fact that at least the administrator part is coming.
“I think we know what’s coming. They will also be looked at criminally,” he added. “These officers who have not provided assistance and who have not intervened – they must be dealt with administratively and also criminally.”
The five officers who were fired and charged with Nichols’ death are Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr and Justin Smith.
Charged with manslaughter are (above, left to right) Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III and (below, left to right) Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith
Tire Nichols’ stepfather, Rodney Wells (above), has called for criminal charges against the paramedics who appeared to be unhelpful after being savagely beaten by police
They are charged with manslaughter, assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression.
As the investigation into Nichol’s death continues, his stepfather Rodney Wells and his attorney, famed civil rights attorney Ben Crump, said the video shows other first responders should be reprimanded.
Wells called for criminal charges against the paramedics standing by after his stepson was savagely beaten, while Crump who was questioned by a white officer who was present at the start of Nichols’ traffic stop has not yet been charged.
“Everyone — the fire department, paramedics who came out and did nothing — they’re just as guilty,” Wells said. ABC news after the release of the video.
“Anyone who was active in the whole scene, the whole video, should be charged,” he added.