RowVaughn Wells sat down for a heartbreaking interview with ABC News to talk about the violent incident of police brutality that claimed the life of her son Tyre Nichols on January 7.
Wells opened up about the moment she saw his critical injuries at the hospital inflicted upon him by fice police officers just 100 yards away from her own Memphis, Tenessee home.
Wells said that before she knew what was happening that night, her motherly intuition told her something was wrong. “I felt a lot of pain and discomfort in my stomach, and, at the time, I didn’t realize what it was, but once I found out, then I just said, ‘That was my son’s pain that I was feeling.”
The first reports of her son’s injuries were severely understated. She said she was told that “he was only pepper sprayed and tased,” however when she arrived at the hospital to see Nichols, she could tell that it was much more severe than what officials first told her.
“When I got to the hospital, my son was beaten up; he had bruises all over his body, his head was the size almost of a watermelon, his neck was busted because of the swelling, and his neck was broken. My son’s whole body was just black and blue,”
She recalled the scene during the January 27 interview: “They had him on all these breathing machines. He’d already went into cardiac arrest, and his kidneys were failing. It just shocked me because I was told something else… I knew then my son was already deceased.”
Well’s suspicion of the understatement of 29-year-old Nichols’s treatment has since been confirmed by the recently released body cam footage of the incident. The video horrifically shows the five identified officers brutally beating, tasing, pepper spraying, and yelling at Tyre Nichols during what began as a traffic stop as the man complained of “shortness of breath” and called for his mother – who was at home just down the street.
The five former officers involved in the incident – Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Desmond Mills Jr., Emmitt Martin III and Justin Smith – were terminated from the Memphis Police Department and were then indicted on charges of “second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression.”
According to CBS News, the five perpetrators are set to be arraigned on February 17 but have made bond on the same day that Wells sat down for her interview. Emmitt Martin III posted his $350,000 bond, and the other four former policemen did the same with their $250,000 bonds. The officers’ legal representatives now maintain a declaration that none of the officers intended to kill Nichols.