Footage from a traffic stop that saw five former Memphis cops charged with murder shows them kicking and punching a motorist for several minutes as he screams for his mother.
In the January 7 arrest videos, officers are seen beating Tire Nichols, 29, with no sign of resistance.
US President Joe Biden said he was “deeply saddened” by the “horrific” clip.
Lawyers for Mr. Nichols’ family have compared the assault to the 1991 police beating of Los Angeles motorist Rodney King.
This article contains descriptions of violence that some people may find distressing
Police initially said Mr Nichols had been stopped on charges of reckless driving, which has not been substantiated. He died in hospital three days later on January 10.
Mr. Nichols was black, as were all five officers charged in the case.
The Memphis Police Department released four graphic videos Friday of the traffic stop and its violent aftermath, totaling more than an hour of footage.
The first clip shows officers pulling Mr. Nichols out of his vehicle and yelling for him to get off the ground.
“I did nothing!” he says. The officers ask him to lie down.
“Get on [expletive] down!” shouts one officer, while another is heard saying, “Tase him!”
An officer yells, “Put your hands behind your back before I break you [expletive].”
“You guys are really doing a lot right now,” Mr. Nichols tells the officers. “I’m just trying to get home.”
Within seconds one of the officers fires a Taser at Mr. Nichols, who leaps to his feet and manages to escape.
A separate video, from a CCTV camera mounted on a light pole, shows officers beating up Mr Nichols after overtaking him in a residential area.
Two officers are seen holding Mr. Nichols down while others take turns kicking and punching him and hitting him with an expandable truncheon.
They drag him to the ground and seat him against a police car. More than 20 minutes pass before an ambulance is seen arriving.
The third and fourth videos show police body camera footage of the beating, with Mr. Nichols being held, pepper sprayed and assaulted while repeatedly shouting, “Mum!”
The videos also show officers recounting the details of the accident as Mr. Nichols lies slumped against the car.
Some of them claim Mr Nichols “hit” them or took their guns, although none of the allegations are clear from the released video.
Officers can also be heard saying that nothing was found in his car.
Mr. Nichols’ mother, RowVaughn Wells, said her son was only 70 yards from the home when Memphis police officers “killed him”.
Family representatives described Mr Nichols as the father of a four-year-old son and an avid skateboarder who had recently signed up for a photography class. He worked for the parcel delivery company FedEx.
One of the lawyers, Antonio Romanucci, said: “This young man, by definition of the law in this state, was terrified.”
The five officers – Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Desmond Mills Jr, Emmitt Martin III and Justin Smith – were fired last week.
They were taken into custody on Thursday and each face charges of second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression.
Four of the five posted bail and were released from custody on Friday morning, according to prison records.
Counsel for Mr. Martin and Mr. Mills have said their clients will plead not guilty.
Memphis Police Director Cerelyn Davis described the five officers’ actions as “heinous, reckless and inhumane.”
Anticipating the protests, he told US media that local officials had decided to release the video on Friday night so schoolchildren and commuters had time to get home.
Dozens of protesters shut down a road bridge in the Memphis area Friday night, while small-scale demonstrations unfolded in other US cities, including New York and Washington DC.
A protester at the Memphis rally, 21-year-old Kyrion, told the BBC he had dreamed of joining the city’s police force as a child, but now that dream has been shattered. ,” he said. “That’s why I’m here today, at the moment I can’t count [police] to protect me.
“How do I know the man won’t put his knee in my neck, or hold me down and beat me to a pulp?”
After the videos were released, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office said two of its deputies were also off duty pending an investigation into their conduct.