Nichols, 29, was stopped for an alleged traffic violation on Jan. 7. Video footage of the stop showed officers approach Nichols’s car and attempt to pull him from the vehicle before they proceeded to beat him.
Nichols escaped and ran from the scene, only to be caught by five police officers soon after and brutally beaten with batons, kicked and punched.
He was transported to the hospital after the beating, where he died three days later.
“Today, we filed an Urgent Appeal before the United Nations asking it to condemn the tragic killing of Tyre Nichols, to demand transparency from the police department, and to demand that Officer Preston Hemphill and all officers that participated in the incident are criminally charged,”
attorneys for the family said in a statement.
“The video evidence shows that all who were involved in Tyre’s death committed reprehensible acts that require international condemnation,” they continued.
According to the United Nations, “urgent appeals” are used to seek intervention to cease the violation of loss of life, life-threatening situations or “imminent or on-going damage of a grave nature.”
The goal is to ensure state authorities intervene or prevent a human rights violation as quickly as possible.
The letter addressed to the UN High Commission for Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland describes Tyre Nichols’ death as being part of a larger pattern of police brutality around the country.
It compares his death to those of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.