Video of Black Man’s Arrest Reminded Family of Rodney King, Lawyer Says

Tyre Nichols asked cops a simple question before he died, according to an attorney representing his family: “What did I do?” Family members gathered with their legal team

in downtown Memphis on Monday to express fresh outrage and grief after viewing video of the police encounter that preceded the 29-year-old Black man’s death in the wake of a

traffic stop this month. Ben Crump, the high-profile civil-rights lawyer representing Nichols’ family, described a horrific video—which has not yet been released to the

public—that RowVaughn Wells, Nichols’ mother, could not watch for more than a minute. “All my son was trying to do was get home,” said Wells. “That’s all he tried to do was

come home. He was two minutes form the house when they stopped him. He was less than 80 yards away.” Crump did not hold back in painting a picture of horrific

abuse. “What we saw, regrettably, it reminded us of Rodney King,” he said outside Mt. Olive Cathedral C.M.E. Church. The last words on the video? “He calls for

his mom,” said Crump. “Three times: ‘Mom.’” Family previously shared a photo of Nichols’ injuries and blamed his death on a brutal police beating. A Memphis city council

member briefed on the video footage had already told a local Fox affiliate it was expected to be “disgusting,” “damaging” and “not good even slightly.” “He was defenseless

the entire time. He was a human piñata,” family attorney Antonio Romanucci added on Monday. “It was an unadulterated, unabashed, nonstop beating of this young boy for three

minutes. That’s what was saw in that video. Not only was it violent, it was savage.”