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How to mentally process video showing moments leading to Tyre Nichols' death, should you choose to view it

Viewer discretion is advised. For those who choose to view the video footage, here's how you can safegaurd your mental health.
Credit: Meka Wilson

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The city of Memphis and some parts of the nation are on edge after the release of video footage showing the brutality that authorities say led to Tyre Nichols' death.

“It’s very horrific, very horrific and any of you who have children, please don’t let them see it," Nichols' mother, RowVaughn Wells, said before the release. 

Law enforcement investigating the incident advised that the video is hard to view, with attorneys for the family saying Nichols was beaten like a 'human pinata'.  

We're told the video is an hour long and it's a combination of SkyCop and body cam video showing disturbing images.  

Many are comparing the footage to the beating of Rodney King and Elton Hayes. 17-year-old Hayes was beaten to death in a ditch in Memphis 52 years ago.

Because of the nature of the video, Dr. Justin Dodson said it’s important to limit how much of it you view.   

“The more that this happens, death by the police, death of black men, death of unarmed black men," mental health counselor Dr. Justin Dodson said, "the more it happens the closer to home it gets, and now here we are. It’s at home and the city is trying to figure out what to do with this.”   

For family, friends, and fellow Memphis, what to do and how to respond will be a long, emotional journey.  

Law enforcement investigating the incident have advised that the video is harsh and hard to view. Dodson said “manage what you need”. 

“It’s really important for us to understand what we need in the moment and be cognizant and attuned to our feelings," Dodson said.    

Being attuned is taking the time to acknowledge what you feel and then release it. 

“When we ingest and see images that are hurtful and harmful to other people, we empathically take that on as if it happened to us,” Dodson said. “I think it’s really important for people to identify what they’re feeling and figure out what they’re going to do with that. For some people that is going to be writing, journaling, taking a break from social media.”   

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