Memphis police release Nichols footage, sparking outrage
Police in the United States is in hot water yet again in light of police brutality in Memphis, Tennessee.
The Memphis police released four videos practically convicting five former Memphis police officers for committing police brutality against Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man when they beat him to death after a January 7 traffic stop.
Nichols died three days later on January 10, and just Thursday, all five officers involved in his murder were arrested and charged.
The graphic footage, showing three police officers trying to handcuff Nichols after dragging him out of his car and throwing him against the ground, was released on Friday evening. He was shown to have escaped arrest in the first altercation, but police officers managed to catch up with him in a nearby neighborhood.
The second altercation, meanwhile, saw officers once again struggling to handcuff Nichols before they brutally kicked and beat him with a baton. One officer was shown to have punched Nichols several times in the head while two others were restraining him, holding his hands behind his back.
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Nichols fell to the ground eventually after receiving numerous blows to the head, though it remains unclear if he was unconscious at this time.
Later on, the footage showed several other offices arriving at the scene and administering medical attention to Nichols. However, the video showed that it took the police about 20 minutes to get the brutalized man into an ambulance.
The initial traffic stop took place on the suspicion of reckless driving, and indications of this could be heard in the video, as police officers could be heard accusing him of being high on some substance and claiming that he had been swerving on the road.
One police officer in the video claimed Nichols tried to hit him, and another police officer said he tried to grab an officer's gun, though this was not seen at any point.
In video #4, Nichols can be heard yelling "mom".
After the video's release, US President Joe Biden came out with a statement, saying the incident was "yet another painful reminder of the profound fear and trauma, the pain, and the exhaustion that Black and Brown Americans experience every single day."
"We must do everything in our power to ensure our criminal justice system lives up to the promise of fair and impartial justice, equal treatment, and dignity for all. Real and lasting change will only come if we take action to prevent tragedies like this from ever happening again," the US President added.
After the video's release, small crowds of protesters gathered in various towns across the United States, from Memphis to the West coast. The incident also gave rise to the discussion of abolishing the police, a liberal and leftist talking point in the US that perceives the police as a form of oppression and a force of evil.
HAPPENING NOW:#Protesters and #Antifa vermin #attack #Police cars in #LosAngeles #LA for #TyreNichols #TyreNicholsVideo— HumanDilemma (@HumanDilemma_) January 28, 2023
LIVE: https://t.co/wiwOyLH1wW#Live #news #USA #protest #AntifaTerrorist #BLM #nocopcity #AbolishThePolice pic.twitter.com/hbIOQN4kqq
No more investigations, panels, committees, etc. These are just tactics to delay taking actual action.— Bree Newsome Bass (@BreeNewsome) January 27, 2023
Defund & abolish the police.
Supporters of the movement believe that communities should provide protection for themselves without a mandate from the state or centralizing power in the hands of certain state apparatuses. The movement is described as anarchist by certain parties.
abolish the police, forever and always— Jackson Frank (@jackfrank_jjf) January 28, 2023
In the aftermath of the footage's release, protesters were shown to have shut down the Memphis-Arkansas bridge in both directions using hundreds of cars, several videos have shown. Protesters have also demanded the special police unit involved in the Nichols incident be shut down.
After the release of the Tyre Nichols video, protestors continue to block both lanes of I-55 at the Memphis-Arkansas Bridge. #TyreNichols @memphisnews pic.twitter.com/IYPM6MJU8u— Chris Day (@cjday1900) January 28, 2023
All five former Memphis police officers indicted in connection to Nichols' death were released on bond late Thursday night and into Friday morning, Shelby County Jail records showed as people are demanding accountability.
Former officers Demetrius Haley and Emmitt Martin were each released on $350,000 bonds, jail records show, while Tadarrius Bean, Justin Smith, and Desmond Mills Jr. were released on $250,000 bonds.
It is unclear at this time who posted the bonds, as no information about the posters was included in official records.
Nichols died on January 10 at a Memphis hospital after succumbing to his injuries three days after he was brutalized by police officers. According to his mother, he was only two minutes away from home when he was killed by the police.
The incident saw the US drawing parallels between Nichols and Rodney King, a motorist who was brutally assaulted by the police, and whose beating sparked large-scale demonstrations that set Los Angeles, California, ablaze and led to some $1 billion in damages.
However, the speed with which authorities moved in Nichols' case stands in marked contrast to the authorities' reaction in the wake of King's beating. Regardless, both instances have amassed the people against the police due to there being graphic visual proof of police brutality.