Video of Memphis Officers Beating Tyre Nichols to be Released: Family Calls For Calm (VIDEO)


    On Friday, authorities planned to release a police video depicting five Memphis officers who were beating a Black man, Tyre Nichols, whose death resulted in murder charges and sparked outrage over the latest instance of police brutality in the country. The officers, all of whom are Black, were charged on Thursday with murder and other crimes in the killing of Nichols, a motorist who died three days after a Jan. 7 confrontation with the officers during a traffic stop.

    Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy stated at a news conference that although the officers each played different roles in the killing, “they are all responsible.” Nichols’ family members and their lawyers said the footage shows officers savagely beating the 29-year-old FedEx worker for three minutes in an assault that the legal team likened to the infamous 1991 police beating of Los Angeles motorist Rodney King.

    Memphis Police Director Cerelyn Davis described the officers’ actions as “heinous, reckless and inhumane,” and said Friday that her department has been unable to substantiate the reckless driving allegation that prompted the stop. “As far as I know today, I do believe that the stop itself was very questionable,” she told ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

    Video of the traffic stop will be released sometime Friday evening, Mulroy said, noting that investigators wanted to complete as many interviews as possible before making the footage public. Nichols’ family members viewed the video on Monday. Given the likelihood of protests, Davis told ABC that she and other local officials decided it would be best to release the video later in the day, after schools are dismissed and people are home from work.

    As a precaution, Memphis-area schools canceled all after-class activities and postponed an event scheduled for Saturday morning. Other early closures included the city power company’s community offices and the University of Memphis.

    Nichols’ mother, RowVaughn Wells, warned supporters of the “horrific” nature of the video but pleaded for peaceful protests. “I don’t want us burning up our city, tearing up the streets, because that’s not what my son stood for,” she said on Thursday. “If you guys are here for me and Tyre, then you will protest peacefully.”

    Davis also urged calm after the video’s release. “None of this is a calling card for inciting violence or destruction on our community or against our citizens,” she said.

    Andre E. Johnson, pastor of Gifts of Life Ministries and a local activist, noted that past protests in Memphis have largely been peaceful. He said the anticipation of unrest is different from when white people stormed the U.S. Capitol or “show up at any statehouse with weapons,” and said people in the community see the contrast. “Any time any violence has ever happened in this city, more than likely it has come from the police,” he said. “I pray that the police tonight will not be violent, and I pray that all goes well.”

    On Thursday night, several dozen supporters joined Rodney and RowVaughn Wells for a candlelight vigil and prayer service at a Memphis Skate park. Nichols, who had a 4-year-old son, was an avid skateboarder. Activists and clergy led the group in prayer. Afterward, skaters rode their boards as the Wells family watched.

    Court records showed that all five former officers — Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Desmond Mills Jr., Emmitt Martin III and Justin Smith — were taken into custody. The officers each face

    a minimum of 10 years in prison if convicted.

    The officers were taken into custody following a joint investigation by the FBI and the local police department. The investigation began several months ago, after several complaints were made against the officers for their alleged involvement in criminal activity.

    The investigation revealed that the officers had been involved in a wide range of illegal activities, including drug trafficking, extortion, and racketeering. The officers are also suspected of having ties to organized crime groups.

    The officers were arrested in a pre-dawn raid on their homes and were taken into custody without incident. They are currently being held without bail, pending trial.

    The police department has expressed its commitment to rooting out corruption within its ranks and has pledged to fully cooperate with the ongoing investigation. This case has caused a lot of public outrage and is seen as a major blow to the department’s reputation.

    The District Attorney’s office has stated that they will be seeking the maximum penalty for the officers, in order to send a message that this type of behavior will not be tolerated. The case is still ongoing and a trial date has not been set yet.

    Source: Cleveland 19


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