Tyre Nichols’ mom describes agonizing moment she saw son: ‘He was already gone’
Tyre Nichols’ mom described the excruciating moment she saw her savagely battered son in hospital, knowing immediately that he was “already gone” — as she accused Memphis cops of initially trying to cover up how they fatally beat him “to a pulp.”
RowVaughn Wells told CNN Friday that officers wildly downplayed her 29-year-old son’s injuries and then refused to tell her where he was being treated after the Jan. 7 beating by officers that Memphis’ top cop concedes is “unconscionable” and involved “acts that defy humanity.”
She only found him around eight hours after learning he’d been busted — and only because a doctor called at 4 a.m. to find out why she was not at her son’s hospital bedside after he’d gone into cardiac arrest and his kidneys started failing.
“When my husband and I got to the hospital and I saw my son — he was already gone,” Wells said of Nichols, who “would have been a vegetable” even if he had survived.
“They had beat him to a pulp … They actually just beat the crap out of him,” she said.
“He had bruises all over him. His head was swollen like a watermelon. His neck was busting because of the swelling. They broke his neck. My son’s nose look like a ‘S,’” she said of the injuries photographed by her husband, Nichols’ stepdad Rodney Wells.
“So when I saw that, I knew my son was gone then.”
The five Memphis cops blamed for the beating were on Thursday charged with murder, nearly three weeks after Nichols’ death.
Officials have spent the last few days preparing the public for the release of bodycam footage late Friday that Police Chief Cerelyn Davis called “unconscionable” and “about the same if not worse’’ than the infamous video of Rodney King being beaten by Los Angeles cops in 1991.
However, Nichols’ mom said the developments this week are a far cry from how the Memphis force acted after the diabolical beating.
She said was immediately confused when cops “banged on” her door late Jan. 7 to tell her that her 29-year-old son had been busted for DUI.
“DUI? My son don’t drink like that, what do you mean, DUI?” she replied.
They then told her that they “had to pepper spray and Tase him,” with no mention of the minutes-long beating that would lead to murder charges.
Instead, the officers tried to blame Nichols for having “superhuman energy,” asking his mom if he was a drug user, she told Don Lemon.
“What they were describing was not my son. So I was very confused,” she said.
Police later claimed Nichols was pulled over for reckless driving and not for DUI.
However, during a CNN appearance early Friday, the Memphis’ top cop said the footage of the incident provided “no proof” that Nichols violated traffic laws prior to being stopped.
Wells also said the officers downplayed the seriousness of her son’s injuries, suggesting he was being treated but would soon be discharged and booked.
“I asked if I could go to the hospital. They told me, ‘No,’” she recalled.
She and her husband, Rodney Wells, left to try and find him, but when they asked cops where her son was “they said nearby,” she said.
“Nearby? What is nearby? I got nothing from them,” she recalled.
“Now that I’m actually putting things together, I believe they were trying to cover it up,” the heartbroken mom confessed.