Jamal Dupree, the brother of Tyre Nichols, told CNN on Tuesday that he wants the five officers charged in the beating and death of his sibling to face the death penalty.
The five officers are accused of beating Nichols during a Jan. 7 traffic stop in Memphis, Tennessee, for “reckless driving,” which ultimately led to his death at St. Francis Hospital three days later. The officers were later charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault and kidnapping.
“I hope they meet the same fate as my brother,” Dupree said. “That’s just how I feel. I don’t know what the laws are in Tennessee or whatnot, but for me, I believe they deserve the death penalty.”
The city of Memphis released body camera footage of the incident Friday, which showed the officers pull Nichols out of his vehicle and pin him to the ground. After he escaped them and ran away, the officers found the late 29-year-old, beat him and dragged him up against their vehicle for several minutes. (RELATED: Massive Demonstrations Break Out After Police Alleged Beat, Kill Black Man In Memphis)
Dupree said he did not watch the footage of the beating, but immediately knew of the officers’ handling of the situation upon seeing photographs of his brother.
“I already knew that they treated my brother like an animal. They beat on him like he was nothing. I don’t have to watch the video to know that,” he said.
Nichols’ brother added that he felt guilty about not being there to protect his brother, although he lives in California. He said that Nichols, who stood at 150 pounds, had likely never gotten into a physical fight before.
A sixth officer, Preston Hemphill, was “relieved of duty” Monday over the incident but has not been criminally charged. He reportedly had the body camera that filmed the traffic stop, but reportedly did not engage in the beating. A seventh unnamed officer was also suspended.
Nichols’ mother, RowVaughn Wells, tearfully said in a Friday interview that she feels “sorry for” the officers because they lacked “humanity” in the moment they beat her son.