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Timeline: It took 22 minutes for ambulance to arrive after Tyre Nichols was beaten by police

3 min

Note: The videos in this story contain graphic content.

Footage released by the city of Memphis showed the kicks, punches and baton strikes police officers delivered against Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man who was fatally injured after being pulled over earlier this month.

The videos, which his family has seen, were released with a warning for graphic content. The clips run about an hour in total. One of the body-camera videos begins when police officers get out of their car and walk up to his car, where another officer already on the scene is pulling him out of the driver’s seat.

Officers said the initial police stop was not filmed. What the videos do include are the 37 minutes between 8:24 p.m., when an officer opened the door of the car, and 9:01 p.m., when an ambulance arrives.

The footage shows it took 22 minutes for an ambulance and a stretcher to arrive for Nichols after officers announced he was in custody. The officers, who also used a Taser and who were fired last week, are facing second-degree murder and other charges.

Here is a timeline of key points during the violent confrontation.

Memphis police video shows officers pushing Tyre Nichols to the ground after pulling him over for an alleged traffic violation on Jan. 7. Nichols later died. (Video: Memphis Police Dept.)

8:24 p.m.: Police detain Nichols

  • A police officer opens the door of the car, which is stopped in an intersection. The officer pulls Nichols out of the car. Nichols is heard saying, “I didn’t do anything.”

8:25 p.m.: Nichols is pepper sprayed

  • Nichols is pushed to the ground. Police threaten to use their Tasers on Nichols, shout expletives at him, and pepper spray him. During the altercation, Nichols can be heard saying: “You guys are really doing a lot right now. I’m just trying to go home” and “I am on the ground.”
  • Nichols struggles to his feet, a police officer appears to use his Taser, and Nichols runs away. An officer reports Nichols running away via radio, and other officers begin looking for him.
Memphis police video shows officers beating Tyre Nichols - kicking, hitting, and using a baton to strike him as he lies on the ground. (Video: Memphis Police Dept.)

8:32 p.m.: Nichols is chased down

  • An officer chasing Nichols appears to reach him. Officers pin him to the ground and then begin hitting him.
  • At around 8:33 p.m., Nichols screams “mom!” several times. An officer says, “Watch out, I’ll spray your eyes again,” as he sprays him. “Give me your hands,” the officers yell.
  • Officers are seen kicking and beating Nichols and using a baton to strike him. An officer strikes Nichols in the head at least five times.

8:38 p.m.: Nichols waits for medics

  • Officers lean Nichols against a police car. An officer asks the fire department to come to the scene.
Medics arrived at 8:41 p.m. to examine Tyre Nichols who had been beaten by police in Memphis on Jan. 7. (Video: Memphis Police Dept.)

8:41 p.m.: Medics arrive to the scene

  • Two medics arrive to examine a groaning Nichols, who appears unable to sit up. Meanwhile, officers laugh and talk, recounting the chase.

8:46 p.m.: Nichols waits for ambulance

  • An officer says it will take an ambulance “a while” to arrive. Nichols, having been examined, is slumped on the ground, leaning against the police car.
A stretcher and ambulance arrived 22 minutes after police officers announced Tyre Nichols was in custody. (Video: Memphis Police Dept.)

9:01 p.m.: An ambulance arrives

  • Twenty-two minutes after officers announced Nichols was in custody, a stretcher, then an ambulance, come into view.
  • It is not clear how much more time elapsed before Nichols was taken to Saint Francis Hospital, which is about six miles away.

The death of Tyre Nichols

The latest: An official autopsy report shows Tyre Nichols died from “blunt force trauma,” lawyers say. The Nichols’s family is suing the city of Memphis and police officers over the brutal beating. The Justice Department will review the Memphis Police Department’s use-of-force policies and practices.

What has Memphis police footage revealed?: The race of the five officers charged in the Nichols killing has sparked a complex dialogue on institutional racism in policing. Some of the most haunting videos came from SkyCop cameras.

Who was Tyre Nichols?: The 29-year-old father was pepper-sprayed, punched and kicked by Memphis cops after a January traffic stop. He was pronounced dead at a hospital three days after his arrest. At Tyre Nichols’ funeral service, his family said they are focused on getting justice.

What is the Scorpion unit?: After the fallout from the brutal beating, Memphis police shut down the Scorpion unit. Each of the five former Memphis police officers pleaded not guilty in Nichols’s death.