Tire Nichols was the victim of an «unadulterated, brazen and non-stop beating» reminiscent of the brutality Rodney King endured at the hands of police officers, lawyers representing the man’s family said Monday after viewing video of the encounter. police investigation that occurred days before Nichols’ death. .

Nichols, 29, was hospitalized and died three days after Memphis police officers took him into custody on January 7.

Five officers involved in the traffic stop were fired Friday, following an administrative investigation that found they violated department policies, Memphis Police Chief CJ Davis said in a statement.

Attorneys Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci, who are representing the Nichols family, said they could not offer much detail about the video after viewing it with Memphis city officials.

At a news conference Monday, Romanucci described it as an «unadulterated, brazen, non-stop beating» for three minutes.

«There were multiple uses of force, multiple uses of force,» Romanucci said. «That’s all we can say.»

Crump told reporters it reminded him of «the Rodney King video,» which references bystander footage from 1991 of Los Angeles police officers beating a black man.

«What we can tell you about the video: It’s horrifying, it’s deplorable, it’s egregious…violent,» Crump said. «And it’s very problematic on every level because you have to ask yourself, again, we’re seeing evidence of what happens to black and brown people in simple traffic stops.»

Ravaughn Wells, Nichols’ mother, was visibly and audibly upset during a press conference after viewing the footage.

“All my son was trying to do was get home. … He was two minutes from the house when they stopped him, ”said his mother. “He was less than 80 meters away when he was murdered. Yes, I said murder… because when I walked into that hospital room, my son was already dead.»

Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy said he anticipated footage from the case would be released to the public «this week or next.»

«Transparency remains a priority in this incident, and a premature release could negatively affect the criminal investigation and judicial process,» Davis added in a statement Monday.

The police department and the mayor’s office said last week that the body camera footage would be released to the public after the internal investigation was concluded and the family could view it in private.

Family members and local activists hold a rally for Tire Nichols at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee, on January 16, 2023.
Family members and local activists hold a rally for Tire Nichols at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee, on January 16, 2023.Mark Weber/Daily Memphis via AP

Details of what happened between Nichols and the five officers have been scant.

Police said in an initial statement following the Jan. 7 arrest that Nichols had been pulled over for reckless driving and fled officers on foot, and that a «confrontation» occurred as officers attempted to arrest Nichols.

Nichols complained of having difficulty breathing and was taken to hospital in critical condition. A cause of death has not been released.

A photo provided by her stepfather, Rodney Wells, showed Nichols in the hospital with blood on her face and what appeared to be a swollen eye. Her mother said Monday that her son was placed on a «breathing machine» after the traffic stop.

Nichols tire.
Nichols tire.courtesy family

Nichols’ case is being investigated by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department, which announced it would launch a civil rights investigation into the traffic stop.

Authorities identified the officers Friday as Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith.

NBC News could not reach the officers for comment following their firing on Friday, and did not immediately respond to emails requesting comment Monday.

In an emailed statement, Memphis Police Association president Lt. Essica Cage-Rosario cited an ongoing criminal investigation into Nichols’ death and declined to comment on the officers’ firing.

«The citizens of Memphis and, more importantly, the family of Mr. Nichols deserve to know the full account of the events leading up to his death and what may have contributed to it,» he said.

Nichols’ family described him as being well-liked by his FedEx coworkers, where he worked for the past year with his stepfather. They said that he loved to skateboard, take pictures and watch the sunset.

Nichols was also the father of a 4-year-old boy, Crump said.

«My son was a beautiful soul,» his mother said. «And he touched everyone.»