Death Tire Nichols, shocking videos released. America in revolt against the police

Death Tire Nichols, shocking videos released.  America in revolt against the police

Protests erupted across the United States after authorities released videos showing the arrest of 29-year-old African-American Tire Nichols, who was brutally beaten on Jan. 7 by five Memphis police officers. Hospitalized for serious injuries, he died on 10 January. In the bodycam footage, we see the police, also African American, chasing and punching Nichols, leaving him on the ground leaning against a police car while they attack him. The officers – Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Desmond Mills Jr., Emmitt Martin III and Justin Smith – were fired and charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and intimidation by an officer. Second-degree murder is punishable by 15 to 60 years in prison under Tennessee law.

The chilling footage of another black man dying at the hands of police sparked controversy over the authorities’ conduct. Protesters gathered for peaceful protests in several cities, including Memphis, where they blocked the Interstate 55 bridge that carries traffic across the Mississippi River into Arkansas. In Washington, dozens of protesters gathered in Lafayette Park, in front of the White House and next to Black Lives Matter Plaza. Others blocked traffic by shouting slogans on the streets of New York, Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon. Nichols’ family called for peaceful protests. “I don’t want us burning down our city, tearing up the streets, because that’s not what my son stood for,” said mother RowVaughn Wells. Speaking at the White House, President Joe Biden said he was “very concerned” about the prospect of violence and urged the protests to remain peaceful. Biden said he spoke with Nichols’s mother and urged Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, legislation that has been blocked and aims to address police misconduct and excessive use of police force.

Videos show officers viciously beating the 29-year-old FedEx worker for three minutes while shouting insults at him. The Nichols family legal team compared the attack to the 1991 police beating of Los Angeles driver Rodney King. After the first officer abruptly pulls Nichols out of a car, he can be heard saying “I didn’t do anything”, as a group of officers begin to tackle him to the ground. Nichols calmly says, “Okay, I’m sad”, “I’m just trying to get home”. Then he is seen running while a police officer uses the taser on him, so the officers give chase. More police are called and Nichols is caught at another intersection, beaten with batons, kicked and punched. Security camera footage shows three police officers surrounding Nichols as he lies in the street between police cars. Two hold him down as he moves and a third seems to kick him in the head. Nichols passes out and is kicked again. “I’m going to hit you,” a policeman is heard to say, and Nichols is hit in the back with the truncheon three times in a row, then, as he tries to get up, supported by two policemen, he takes several punches to the guy. Then Nichols passes out and also gets kicked to the ground. He begs for his mother like George Floyd, killed after an arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 25, 2020, but no one helps him. It takes more than 20 minutes after he is beaten before medical help is provided, although two firefighters arrived on the scene with medical equipment within 10 minutes.

Throughout the videos, officers make allegations about Nichols’ behavior that are not corroborated by the footage or that the district attorney and other officials say have not been verified. An officer claims that Nichols tried to fight back. Another claims that no drugs were found in his car, and a colleague immediately retorts that Nichols must have dropped something while fleeing. Authorities said there appeared to be no justification for pulling him over and nothing of note was found in the car.

The videos also raise questions about the possible guilt of the other police officers present at the scene, in addition to the five accused. Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn ‘CJ’ Davis said that other officers are under investigation for their role in the arrest, the officers were “aggressive, used foul language and probably scared Mr. Nichols off right from the start.” Shelby County Sheriff Floyd Bonner said two officers who attended the scene after the beating were relieved of their duties pending the outcome of an internal investigation.

Source: IL Tempo

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