‘You disgraced your families when you did this’: Mother of US man who died after police ‘beating’ slams officers


The mother of a US motorist who died after he was allegedly beaten by police has said the five charged officers “disgraced their own families”.

Tyre Nichols, 29, passed away in hospital three days after the confrontation following a traffic stop in the city of Memphis, Tennessee, on 7 January.

Bodycam footage of the altercation is expected to be released this evening.

Tyre Nichols
Tyre Nichols

Five sacked officers, who are all black, have been charged with second-degree murder and other crimes, including assault, kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression, over Mr Nichols’s killing.

Mr Nicols’s mother, RowVaughn Wells, said: “I want to say to the five police officers who murdered my son, you also disgraced your own families when you did this.

“But I am going to pray for you and your families. Because this shouldn’t have happened. We want justice for my son.”

She also said she had not yet seen the video but urged anyone with children not to let them watch it.

“I have never seen the video but what I have heard is very horrific,” she added.

From Top Row: Demetrius Haley, Desmond Mills, Jr, Emmitt Martin III, Justin Smith and Tadarrius Bean have been sacked
From top row: Demetrius Haley, Desmond Mills, Jr, Emmitt Martin III, Justin Smith and Tadarrius Bean have been sacked

Civil rights lawyer Ben Crump, who is representing Mr Nichols’ family, said when the public sees the footage they will see him calling out for his mother.

He says: “When you all see this video, you’re going to see Tyre Nichols calling out for his mum.

“He calls out three times for his mum. His last words on this earth were, ‘mum, mum, mum’. He’s screaming for her.”

Ms Wells also told reporters: “For a mother to know their child was calling them in their need and I wasn’t there for him. Do you know how I feel right now? Because I wasn’t there for my son.”

Ms Wells recalled she had had “a really bad pain in my stomach” and once she found out what happened she realised “that was my son’s pain that I was feeling”.


Police pulled Mr Nichols over for alleged reckless driving before there was an “altercation” where officers used pepper spray on him, according to Shelby County district attorney Steve Mulroy.

Mr Nichols then tried to flee on foot and another altercation followed, he added.

His family say the officers beat him and the injuries he sustained during the encounter led to his death.

The footage capturing the confrontation between Mr Nichols and police is appalling, FBI director Christopher Wray has said.

“What happened in Memphis is obviously tragic. I have seen the video myself and I will tell you I was appalled,” he said.

Mr Wray and US attorney general Merrick Garland have urged a peaceful and non-violent response when the video is made public.

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