Florida leaders are reacting to body cam footage released Friday night that appears to show five Memphis police officers punching Tire Nichols during a Jan. 7 traffic stop.
On Friday, January 27, at 6 p.m. Central Time, Memphis police released four videos, including footage from the night Nichols was arrested.
Several leaders across Florida released statements in response to the video.
Rep. Maxwell Frost tweeted that he “saw the lynching video.”
Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy John Mina shared a statement regarding the tragic incident on Twitter.
The Kissimmee Police Chief shared his thoughts on Twitter.
Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said on Facebook, “I’ve been a cop for 35 years and I’ve never seen a police video as reprehensible as the one I saw tonight in Memphis.
Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma said on Facebook, “The actions of five former Memphis, Tennessee police officers are inexcusable and reflect the majority of hardworking public servants who put their lives on the line every day. It’s not a thing, it’s our community.”
The interaction begins with the police’s attempt to stop and quickly becomes physical as Nichols repeatedly asks why he is being detained.
“Slap your butt [expletive] Get out,” one officer yelled as he dragged Nichols out of the car.
“Okay, okay, you guys are really doing a lot right now,” Nichols replies with increasing excitement. “I am about to go home.”
Nichols flees as the officer pulls out a stun gun. A few minutes later the police caught up with him and started beating him.
In the video, five police officers beat Nichols for three minutes and yelled “Mama, Mama!”
Eventually, other police officers and paramedics arrive and begin administering medical care to Nichols.
It was not immediately clear whether Nichols was really drunk. Police said he complained of shortness of breath and was taken to hospital. He died three days later.