RowVaughn Wells, the mother of the man who was allegedly beaten to death by five Memphis police officers, gave a gut-wrenching interview Friday on CNN, saying she feels “sorry” for the officers.
Tyre Nichols died three days after a Jan. 7 traffic stop that has drawn intense scrutiny. Police say five officers, who have all been fired and charged, pulled Nichols over for “reckless driving,” during which a “confrontation occurred” and Nichols fled on foot. Officers then pursued Nichols and “another confrontation occurred,” according to police. Nichols then complained of shortness of breath and was taken to St. Francis Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries three days later on Jan. 10.
CNN’s Don Lemon spoke to Wells, her husband Rodney and their attorney, Ben Crump. Wells said Nichols called out for his mom several times, prompting her to become extremely emotional.
“That was my baby, he was a mama’s boy,” Wells said. “That boy loved me to death. He has my name tattooed on his arm. People don’t know what those five police officers did to our family. And they really don’t know what they did to their own families. They have put their own families in harm’s way. They have brought shame to their own families. They have brought shame to the black community. I just feel sorry for — I feel sorry for them. I really do. I really feel sorry for them.”
“Why do you say that?” Lemon asked.
“Because they didn’t have to do this. And like I said, they brought a lot of shame to their own family,” Wells said. “Where was the humanity? They beat my son like a piñata.”
Wells said she doesn’t “hate anybody” but just feels “sorry for them, because they did something horrendous.”
“They beat my son to death,” she continued.
Wells spoke about how Nichols cried out for her, and that she began experiencing a stomachache before learning about the incident.
“Once I found out what happened, it was just the fact that I was feeling my son’s pain,” she said. “I was feeling my son’s pain when they were beating him to death.”(RELATED: Watch The Moment A Sheriff Fatally Shoots A Man Armed With A Meat Cleaver)
Wells then spoke about police brutality and racism, saying race has nothing to do with her outrage.
“There are bad officers, too, and those are the ones we need to get rid of,” she told Lemon.
Former officers Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith were charged with aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression.