On Friday, the US city of Memphis released a agonizing video showing five police officers beating a 29-year-old black man who was heard calling his mother while he was being beaten, in an incident that sparked calls for protests and fears of possible unrest.
Five Memphis police officers, all black, have been charged with second-degree murder in the beating of Tyre Nichols, who died in hospital on January 10, three days after his arrest, which authorities described as “horrific”.
On January 7, the cops wanted to arrest Nichols, 29, for a traffic violation and have since been removed from their duties.
A long video captured by police cameras and a street surveillance camera shows the police arresting Nichols, trying to pin him down with a taser, and then chasing him down after he tries to flee from them.
This Tyre Nichols video should truly disgust every American. The vast majority of police are good people but Police brutality is a massive problem in this nation. Violence won’t fix this but we need Justice for Tyre from the Memphis Police.— Brian Krassenstein (@krassenstein) January 28, 2023
He screams and calls his mother
Scenes show Nichols screaming, calling his mother, and groaning because the officers kicked and punched him repeatedly.
US President Joe Biden said that he feels “great anger and pain” because of these scenes, saying that they “will make people’s anger justified.”
Biden urged protesters to stay peaceful, emphasizing that “there is no place for violence or vandalism in the pursuit of justice.”
At a press conference Friday, Rovon Wells, the victim’s mother begged for serenity; however she then turned her attention to the police officers who had “beaten her son ‘to death’, as she called it” and said: “You have disgraced your families by doing this.”
WARNING: GRAPHIC POLICE BRUTALITY #TyreNichols was murdered by the Memphis PD. This is torture and murder on the hands of these “men”. Tyre Nichols was held up by two cops as he was savagely beaten and abused. Each one of these POS should rot. #JusticeforTyreNichols pic.twitter.com/z8YK3F0X02— Conor (@ConorKilbane6) January 28, 2023
Biden expressed his admiration for the Wells family’s fortitude and courage in the face of their great grief, as well as endorsing their call for peaceful protests.
In downtown Memphis, around 50 demonstrators congregated in Martyrs Central Park and later blocked off a chief route while marching and shouting “No justice, no peace” and “Say his name: Tyre Nichols.”
An incident reminiscent of Floyd’s death
Over a hundred citizens united in New York’s Times Square, chanting powerful statements and carrying banners that screamed “End police terror”. With signs held high, they marched together to demonstrate their shared commitment to justice.
As the nation mourns, my thoughts are with the Tire family. Although feelings of anger and frustration are justifiable, we must remember that violence is never acceptable. I urge a speedy, thorough and transparent investigation into this tragedy as soon as possible to bring justice for all impacted by it. Let us use our voices responsibly in protest while ensuring they remain peaceful at all times.
On Thursday, five officers were sent to confinement on homicide charges following Tyre’s death. “Tyre’s passing is an uncomfortable prompt that we must make more progress toward guaranteeing our legal framework satisfies the guarantee of sensible and unprejudiced equity,” Biden said in his declaration.
Attorney Antonio Romanucci elucidated that this was an “extreme, sustained beating of the young man over a period of three minutes” without pause.
David Rausch, the director of Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, was appalled as he witnessed what had transpired. He considered it “unacceptable,” “criminal” and something that should have never occurred. In one word: horrific. His shock and disgust were palpable in his expression as he spoke on the matter.
The incident sparked indignation in a nation still reeling from the death of George Floyd and its ensuing protests, as part of the Black Lives Matter movement against racism and police brutality.
The Nichols case has sparked a heated discussion about the prevalence of police brutality in our nation.