Tyre Nichols' arrest video is shocking, the Memphis police chief warned the public.
Nichols died after 5 police officers beat him at a traffic stop, family attorneys said.
The body cam video will be made public on Friday evening. The officers have been charged with murder.
Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis said she expects a strong reaction to the body cam footage of the January 7 arrest and beating of Tyre Nichols, who died three days later. The police department is preparing to release the video on Friday evening.
"This incident was heinous, reckless, and inhumane, and in the vein of transparency when the video is released in the coming days, you will see this for yourselves," Davis said in a statement released late on Wednesday.
"I expect you to feel what the Nichols family feels, I expect you to feel outrage in the disregard of basic human rights, as our police offers have taken an oath to do the opposite of what transpired on the video."
Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man, was stopped by police at a traffic stop on January 7, and was beaten by officers for three minutes, attorneys for his family said. He died in the hospital three days later.
Davis explained to CNN's Don Lemon that the police department decided to release the footage on a Friday evening because it wouldn't be as disruptive to the public as it would if they had released it on a Wednesday afternoon.
"We think about the entire public, to tell you the truth," Davis said on CNN This Morning. "We thought about schools, we thought about business, and we felt like Friday afternoon, if there were individuals who decided they wanted to peacefully protest, at least other individuals would have gone home, schools would be out."
In the video, Tyre Nichols cries out for his mother as he's beaten by police, Davis said. She told CNN that the footage is as bad, "if not worse" than the 1991 footage of Rodney King being beaten by police, which caused days of riots across the city.
Nichols' family and their lawyers were allowed to privately view the body cam footage of Nichols' arrest, Memphis police said.
On Monday, after viewing the footage, attorney Antonio Romanucci said that Nichols was "defenseless the entire time" and that he was "a human pinata for those police officers."
David Rausch, director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, described the footage as shocking: "I'm sickened by what I saw. In a word, it's absolutely appalling."
Memphis police reaction
Five Memphis police officers - Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Justin Smith, and Desmond Mills Jr. - were fired after the incident, and have been charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct, and official oppression.
Davis, the police chief, said other officers were still under investigation "for departmental policy violations."
She said there should be "absolute accountability for those responsible for Tyre's death." She said she expects protests, but urged people to keep them peaceful.
"I expect our citizens to exercise their first amendment right to protest, to demand action and results, but we need to ensure our community is safe in this process," she said.
Davis also said that her department was complying with ongoing investigations.
"I promise full and complete cooperation from the Memphis police Department with the Department of Justice, the FBI, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, and the Shelby County District Attorney's Office to determine the entire scope of facts that contributed to Tyre Nichols' death," she said.