Protests surge all across US after police brutality video goes viral
A large number of protesters convened Friday on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House in Washington DC to express their anger over the killing of Tyre Nichols, a young African-American man who was beaten to death by law enforcement officers, as video footage that went viral this week proved.
The demonstrators held banners reading end police terror, justice for Tyre Nichols, and jail killer cops.
Nichols, 29, died in a hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, after five police officers beat him when they stopped him for an alleged traffic violation. The footage showing the beating by several officers with the victim on the ground sparked nationwide outrage and riots were deemed not unlikely in other parts of the country.
Video de la brutal paliza policial que provocó la muerte del afroamericano Tyre Nichols en Memphis. pic.twitter.com/OKE4NMdOoW
— Jose Abad (@abadcrypto) January 28, 2023
Access to the White House was on lockdown Friday night by federal and city security forces. There was also a large deployment of police patrols on one of the streets adjacent to Lafayette Park, located directly across the street from the White House.
Five of the officers involved in the beating of Nichols were fired from the police department and face multiple criminal charges.
US Attorney General Merrick Garland promised Friday that there will be an investigation into Nichols’ death and called for any protests over the event to be peaceful.
Nearly one-third of all people killed by police in the U.S. in 2021 were African American, despite being only 13% of the country’s population, according to Mapping Police Violence.
Protesters also rallied in Memphis, New York, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Seattle among other US cities in rejection of police violence.
More scenes from tonights clash between LAPD and protesters in the wake of the Tyre Nichols incident in downtown LA#LosAngeles #California #TyreeNichols #TyreNicholsVideo #LAPD #DTLA pic.twitter.com/i47Ri1aPVM
— CBKNEWS (@CBKNEWS121) January 28, 2023
New York City Mayor Eric Adams called the events that led to Nichols’ death an abomination. The brutality we witnessed in the Memphis video is an abomination, Adams said on his Twitter account shortly after the images were made public. It undermines the very system of laws we believe in, he added.
Tyre Nichols’ death on January 10 is reminiscent of that of fellow African-American George Floyd, killed by a police officer in May 2020. Marches against racism and police violence set the country ablaze under the slogan Black Lives Matter.
President Joseph Biden also called for the demonstrations to be peaceful and condemned the tragedy in the strongest terms.
When my husband and I got to the hospital and saw my son, he was already dead. He had been beaten to a pulp. He had bruises all over him. His head was swollen like a watermelon, RowVaughn Wells, Nichols’ mother, said through tears in an interview Friday with CNN.
President Biden spoke with Wells and Nichols’ stepfather to express his condolences, and praised the courage and fortitude of the family, the White House reported.
Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis said the footage of the 29-year-old’s arrest is equal to or even worse than the 1991 Rodney King beating, which sparked days of rioting in Los Angeles that left dozens dead. We plan to share the video through a YouTube link so everyone can see it, she said, adding that what is seen shows a sort of group effect among the five police officers. No one took a step to intervene, Davis said.
On Jan. 7, Memphis police officers wanted to arrest Nichols for a traffic violation. When the officers approached, a confrontation ensued and the suspect fled, according to police. Nichols complained of difficulty breathing during the arrest and was hospitalized. He died three days later.
The five police officers were fired, charged with murder, and jailed. Four of them were later released on bail.