Tyre Nichols cries for mother in graphic footage of fatal traffic stop arrest in Memphis
A black motorist who died after being beaten by officers in Memphis, Tennessee screamed for his mother as officers struck him with a baton and repeatedly kicked and punched him.
Graphic footage of Tyre Nichols, 29, being beaten by police following a traffic stop was released on Friday night as protesters in cities across the US took to the streets in outrage.
The encounter began after he was pulled over for suspected reckless driving near his home in Memphis on January 7. He died in hospital three days later.
Nichols can be heard on the recording repeatedly screaming, "Mom! Mom!" as he struggles with officers. He was just 80 yards from home at the time.
Surveillance video showed several officers pinning Nichols to the ground as they rained down blows, even wielding a baton while he showed no sign of resisting.
One of the most shocking moments shows officers pulling Nichols up and punching him five times in his face. When he falls to the ground they aim two more kicks at his face.
Nichols' family said the footage showed him being "terrorised" by the officers who acted "like a pack of wolves".
His death is just the latest in a string of high-profile cases of police brutality cases involving black men.
Shortly after the footage was released a large group of protesters gathered in downtown Memphis, shouting, "no justice, no peace".
The demonstrators appeared to be blocking off a main road in the city.
Around 100 people gathered in New York's Times Square, chanting similar slogans and holding banners reading, "End police terror."
More than a dozen cities, including Atlanta, Washington, Chicago and Philadelphia, were bracing for potential unrest.
Joe Biden said he was "outraged and deeply pained" after watching the video, saying it "will leave people justifiably outraged".
The US president commended the Nicols family's "courage and strength" during a phone call with Tyre's mother RowVaughn Wells and stepfather, Rodney Wells, on Friday afternoon US time.
His family accused the police of beating him, and causing him to have a heart attack and kidney failure.
An official autopsy in the case has yet to be completed.
Five officers, all of whom are also black, have been dismissed and charged with second-degree murder, assault, kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression.
Police body camera footage shows the officers using a string of expletives as they attempt to detain Nichols. One officer tells him he will get "blown out".
The footage shows Nichols being hauled from his car and pinned to the ground.
“I didn't do anything ... I’m just trying to go home,” he tells the officers.
The officers force him to the ground, order him to lay on his stomach and squirt him in the face with pepper spray.
Nichols then breaks free, scrambles to his feet and sprints away down a road with officers chasing him on foot; at least one fires a stun gun at him.
As police give chase, one officer can be heard saying: “I hope they stomp his ass. I hope they stomp his ass.”
A separate video shows the moment officers catch up to Nichols again, and beat him.
Two officers can be seen in the video holding him down as a third one kicks him and a fourth delivers blows with what appears to be a rod before another punches Nichols.
His mother, Ms Wells, said: "No mother should go through what I am going through right now, no mother, to lose their child to the violent way that I lost my child."
She described her "beautiful son" and his love of photography, skateboarding and, in particular, sunsets which he was out enjoying before he was beaten "to a pulp".
"No-one is perfect but he was close," she said in a tearful press conference.
Ms Wells addressed the five police officers involved, telling them: "You disgraced your own families when you did this."
Nichols’ death is just the latest in a string of high-profile cases of police brutality cases involving black men.
Ben Crump, a lawyer for Mr Nichols' family, compared his encounter to the infamous police beating of Rodney King, which sparked riots in Los Angeles in 1991.
Mr Crump said it was irrelevant that the officers were black, but noted how swiftly action was taken in their case.
“We have never seen swift justice like this,” he said, adding that it should be the “blueprint going forward”.
The civil rights attorney called for Memphis Police to disband its SCORPIONS unit, a squad focusing on violent street crime, to which at least some of the officers were assigned.
The footage was released on the police department's YouTube channel on Friday night amid intense public pressure.
lt comprised four videos: footage from officer body cameras, police car dashboards, and a camera on a utility pole.
The Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis, said the footage showed "acts that defy humanity".
Police have said Nichols was pulled over for reckless driving and "an altercation" ensued.
The footage released by the department on Friday night did not show the events leading up to Nichols being stopped.
In the aftermath, as paramedics attended to Nichols, some officers could be heard discussing the sequence of events and comparing notes on their uses of force.
One describes officers firing pepper spray and using a Taser. Another says that Nichols reached for another officer’s gun.