Video footage released Friday of Tyre Nichols’ deadly beating in Memphis drew comparisons to the 1991 incident involving Rodney King in Los Angeles. King’s daughter, who was 7 when police repeatedly struck her father as he lay on the street, called the footage of Nichols’ encounter with police on Jan. 7 “sickening.”
“It’s sickening. I don’t feel well. It’s not a good feeling. I don’t wish that upon anybody’s family,” Lora Dene King, 38, told Rolling Stone on Friday night after watching the video. “I don’t think anyone should go through something like that. I don’t see how people are OK, because I’m not. I’m human, and if you’re human, you shouldn’t be OK with that video.”
According to the video, two officers held Nichols, as a third officer appeared to strike Nichols in the head, The New York Times reported. An officer also beat him with a baton, and later during the video sequence, an officer punched Nichols at least five times while another officer held his hands behind his back.
In 1991, King was struck with batons, kicked and shocked by a stun gun by Los Angeles police officers after being pulled over after driving about 100 mph in March 1991, The New York Times reported. The incident was caught on the new camcorder of George Holliday, who lived in the neighborhood, according to Rolling Stone.
>> To see the unedited video released by the Memphis Police, click here. Warning the videos are graphic and contain profanity.
The video was broadcast by a Los Angeles television station and quickly circulated worldwide, stunning viewers during an era before police body cameras and cellphone videos became the norm, The New York Times reported.
King’s beating lasted 79 seconds, NBC News reported.
Nichols’ death three days after the beating had eerie similarities to the King encounter. But several experts said that Nichols’ death was much more disturbing.
“This is far worse than Rodney King,” Ed Obayashi, a Northern California sheriff’s deputy and a use-of-force expert, told the Los Angeles Times. “This is as bad as it gets.”
Seth Stoughton, a University of South Carolina law professor and a former police officer in Florida, agreed with Obayashi.
“I don’t use ‘brutality’ lightly, but especially those kicks to the face or punches while he is being held by other officers who have control of his hands, that’s just brutality,” Stoughton told the newspaper. “There was no justification for that.”
During a news conference on Friday night at Leimert Park in Los Angeles, Lorena Dene King said that she “was shaking” after watching the Nichols video.
“This man begged. He begged for his life,” she told reporters.
Unlike Nichols, Rodney King survived his beating. However, he bore the scars from his encounter for the rest of his life and drowned in a backyard pool in June 2012, the New York Times reported. He was 47.
“Even though he didn’t physically die, a big part of him died that night. He suffered permanent brain damage,” Lorena Dene King told Rolling Stone. “He wasn’t OK. He never was after that day. I wasn’t OK, so I can only imagine what my dad felt.”
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