January 29, 2023 – Breaking News – CNN
Editor’s Note: This article contains graphic videos and descriptions of violence.
Protesters once again took to the streets over the weekend to decry police brutality after the release of a video depicting the violent Memphis police beating of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols, and more gatherings and vigils are planned for Sunday.
(Warning: Contains graphic content. Saturday’s marches followed nationwide protests on Friday night immediately after the video of police beating Tyre Nichols was released. In Memphis, demonstrators brought traffic to a standstill on Interstate 55 for hours as they continued to demand action and accountability. Memphis police announced it would permanently deactivate the Scorpion unit. The Shelby County sheriff also announced two deputies “have been relieved of duty,” pending an internal investigation based on their actions when they arrived at the scene with Nichols. Courtesy of NBC News and YouTube. Posted on Jan 28, 2023.)
Nichols could be heard yelling for his mother in the video of the January 7 encounter, which begins with a traffic stop and goes on to show officers repeatedly beating the young Black man with batons, punching him, and kicking him – including at one point while his hands are restrained behind his back.
He was left slumped to the ground in handcuffs, and 23 minutes passed before a stretcher arrived at the scene. Nichols was eventually hospitalized and died three days later.
“All of these officers failed their oath,” Nichols’ family attorney Ben Crump told CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday.
“They failed their oath to protect and serve. Look at that video: Was anybody trying to protect and serve Tyre Nichols?”
(Warning: Contains graphic content. Five fired police officers in Memphis, Tennessee, have been charged with second-degree murder in a killing that has echoed across the country. The victim, Tyre Nichols, died after a confrontation during a traffic stop earlier this month. Attorneys for Nichols’ family say body camera footage shows a police beating that lasted three minutes. Courtesy of PBS NewsHour and YouTube. Posted on Jan 26, 2023.)
Demonstrators marched through New York City, Atlanta, Boston, Baltimore, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Portland, among other cities across the nation on Saturday, raising signs bearing Nichols’ name and calling for an end to abuses of authority.
“To see the events unfold how they’ve unfolded, with this Tyre Nichols situation, is heartbreaking. I have a son,” said Kiara Hill, standing at a makeshift memorial near the Memphis corner where Nichols was beaten.
“And Tyre, out of the officers on the scene, he was the calmest.”
Since Nichols’ death, the backlash has been relatively swift. The five Memphis officers involved in the beating – who are also Black – were fired and charged with murder and kidnapping in Nichols’ death.
The unit they were part of was disbanded, and state lawmakers representing the Memphis area began planning police reform bills.
(Warning: Contains graphic content. The Memphis Police SCORPION unit, launched in 2021 to patrol high-crime areas, has come under fire after the death of Tyre Nichols. Courtesy of ABC News and YouTube. Posted on Jan 29, 2023.)
Crump said that the quick firing and arrests of the police officers and release of video should be a “blueprint” for how police brutality allegations are handled going forward.
He applauded Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis for arresting and charging the officers within 20 days.
(Warning: Graphic Video, age-restricted video available on YouTube: Hear from Memphis police director C.J. Davis describes the officers’ actions in the Tyre Nichols police stop video as heinous, reckless, and inhumane. Davis says she could only stomach watching the video once. In an interview with CBS News’ Jeff Pegues, Davis says she still doesn’t understand why the officers went so far. Courtesy of CBS Mornings and YouTube. Posted on Jan 28, 2023.)
FOP National President “Infuriated” by Description of Assault by Memphis Officers
Patrick Yoes, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police, was appalled by the brutal assault on Tyre Nichols.
“The event as described to us does not constitute legitimate police work or a traffic stop gone wrong,” Yoes said.
“This is a criminal assault under the pretext of law. The Memphis Police Department terminated the five officers who participated in this heinous attack.
“The district attorney and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have completed the investigation, arrested the former officers, and charged them with second-degree murder.”
MORE: TBI Director David Rausch offered the following statement during a news conference with DA Steve Mulroy in Memphis this afternoon.
“Let me be clear: What happened here does not, at all, reflect proper policing. This was wrong. This was a crime.” pic.twitter.com/G0UXowxLcn
— Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (@TBInvestigation) January 26, 2023
Tyre Nichols allegedly fled from officers following a traffic stop. After a brief foot pursuit, five Memphis police officers caught up to Mr. Nichols and beat him so badly he had to be hospitalized.
A few days later, he died of those injuries.
Much as in the George Floyd murder case most, if not all, of the crime will be seen when the video is released later today.
“According to reports, the fact that none of those officers—NONE of them—acted to stop this vicious attack, only compounds my horror—it is sickening,” Yoes said.
“The men arrested and charged for this crime have rights, the presumption of innocence, and the due process protections of anyone accused of a crime.”
“But the bottom line here is that Tyre Nichols, his family, and our entire country need to see justice done—swiftly and surely.”
“This criminal encounter should not and does not define the brave men and women of the Memphis Police Department or the more than 800,000 officers who keep our country and communities safe from the kind of violence that occurred in this incident,” Yoes concluded.
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