Of all the words used prior to prepare us, nothing spoke louder than the pictures.
That the images were captured on police bodycams made it the more chilling – a murderer’s eye view, as the indictment would have it.
The video footage is as shocking as it is haunting.
Having stopped Tyre Nichols in his car, Memphis police officers instantly escalate a situation to extreme violence.
Tyre is the only man featured on film seemingly trying to calm the situation.
Unfortunately, fatally, it is beyond his control.
It is difficult to watch him wrestled to the ground, calling out to his mother in the last words that would ever speak.
Tyre receives no treatment until an ambulance arrives after more than 20 minutes.
We watch for more than 20 minutes as he is propped, handcuffed, against a vehicle, clearly in distress.
As his condition deteriorates, he slumps sideways to the ground.
He is a man dying, and yet, all those around him appear to stand by and do nothing.
The police officers who inflicted the fatal injuries share a debrief, fist bumping each other.
You can hear the adrenaline.
It is a sickening indictment of policing as it happened that night in Memphis.
Lawyers for Tyre’s family say it reflects a police culture embedded in racism and the abuse of power – no matter that the officers involved are black, they say, as the problem lies in a learned expectation of immunity and impunity that pervades policing.
The same lawyers are gratified by the speed and seriousness of the charges laid against the officers involved.
They see progress, and say it should be a blueprint for similar cases in future – now, they gain sympathy and support through the violent and very public demise of a much-loved young man in Memphis.