Social media can be helpful when sharing information beneficial to the masses, but Tyre Nichols fell victim to unsubstantiated rumors. We’ve continued to report on the death of the 29-year-old who was beaten by police. Nichols was headed to his mother’s home when he was pulled over by officers, yanked out of his car, and tortured. Videos from the City of Memphis show him being tased, punched, kicked in the head, and bludgeoned with a baton. Emergency responders didn’t tend to his injuries for 20 minutes. Three days later, Nichols died in a hospital.

There has been a public outcry for justice, and five officers have been fired. Three employees of the Memphis Fire Department have also been let go, while two other officers have reportedly been suspended. Yesterday (February 1), Nichols’s funeral was live-streamed for the world, but amid the mourning were rumors about why the young father was targeted.

OAKLAND, CA – JANUARY 29: Almost a thousand of people are gathered at the Oscar Grant Plaza and take streets over Tyre Nichols killing by Memphis police, in Oakland, California, United States on January 29, 2023. (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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In such situations, people often try to reconcile what occurred by figuring out the answer to “why.” A rumor circulated about Tyre’s alleged involvement with one of his attackers’ wives, and his stepfather, Rodney Wells, stepped forward to call it all lies. He addressed the gossip during a press conference.

“Don’t anybody believe that mess,” said Wells. “They tryin’ to get out of this, but they’re not… Police tried to cover it up. It’s still trying to spread rumors about my son that are not true. For anybody that thought that these rumors are true, they are not. And to stand up here every day and try to put on this face and all that, it’s difficult. But we have to do it. I have. a wife, I have stepchildren that need my support.”

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There have been reports that hours of additional footage have not yet been shared The tapes allegedly feature the officers speaking about the incident. The initial videos took weeks to be released, and the public has questioned why the City of Memphis responded so slowly. Attorney Ben Crump represents the Nichols family, but former NBA Stephen Jackson said his involvement with the case was political.