People again took to the streets over the weekend to protest police brutality after a video of the violent beating of Tyre Nichols, 29, by Memphis police was made public. More rallies and vigils are planned for Sunday.
Nichols could be heard calling for his mother on the video of the January 7 incident. The video begins with a traffic stop and then shows officers repeatedly hitting the young black man with batons, punching and kicking him, even with his hands tied behind his back at one point.
He was put in handcuffs and left lying on the ground for 23 minutes before a stretcher got there. Nichols was eventually taken to the hospital, and three days later, he died.
On Sunday, Nichols’ family lawyer, Ben Crump, told CNN’s Dana Bash, “All of these officers broke their oath.” They broke their promise to serve and protect. Watch this video: Did anyone try to help and protect Tyre Nichols?
People marched through New York City, Atlanta, Boston, Baltimore, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Portland, among other cities, on Saturday, holding signs with Nichols’ name and calling for an end to abuses of authority.
“It’s heartbreaking to see how things have turned out in this Tyre Nichols situation. “I Have a Son,” Kiara Hill said as she stood at a makeshift memorial near where Nichols was beaten in Memphis. “Tyre was the most calm of the officers there,” they said.
Since Nichols’s death, the reaction has happened pretty quickly. The five black Memphis police officers who beat Nichols were fired and charged with murder and kidnapping in connection with his death. The unit they were a part of was broken up, and state lawmakers from the Memphis area started working on bills to change the way police work.
Crump said that the way the police officers were fired and arrested quickly and the video was made public should be a “blueprint” for how police brutality claims are dealt with in the future. He was happy that Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis had the officers arrested and charged within 20 days.
“When you see police officers commit crimes against citizens, we want you to act just as quickly and show that, as the chief said, the community needs to see it, but we need to see it too when it’s white police officers,” Crump said.
Memphis Police Disband Scorpion Unit Linked To Murder
The Shelby County District Attorney says that the five former Memphis police officers who were arrested have been charged with second-degree murder and aggravated kidnapping, among other things.
The officers, whose names are Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Justin Smith, Emmitt Martin, and Desmond Mills Jr., are expected to be charged on February 17.
Mills Jr.’s lawyer put out a statement on Friday night saying that his client didn’t cross any lines during the confrontation “that others crossed.”
Major Karen Rudolph, a Memphis Police Department spokesperson, told Cnn on Saturday that all five officers were members of the now-defunct Scorpion Unit. When the unit started up in 2021, officers were sent to places where violent crime was on the rise.
The Memphis Police Department said Saturday that the Scorpion Unit will be shut down for good because “it is in the best interest of all.”
But getting rid of the unit without giving the officers new training would be like “putting lipstick on a pig,” City Council Chair Martavius Jones told Cnn on Saturday.
Patrice Robinson, a member of the City Council, told CNN that getting rid of the unit doesn’t go far enough to solve problems in the agency.
“We have to fight the bad people in our community, and now we have to fight our own police officers.” Robinson said, “That’s awful.” “We’ll have to do something.”
Other agencies also had to deal with the effects of the deadly run-in.
Two Memphis Fire Department workers who helped care for Nichols when he was first hurt have been taken off the job until the results of an internal investigation are known. Two Shelby County Sheriff’s Office deputies have been put on leave while an investigation is done.
Lawmakers Plan To File Bills To Change Things
Two Democratic state lawmakers said on Saturday that they plan to file legislation to change the way police work before the Tuesday deadline for the Tennessee General Assembly.
Rep. G.A. Hardaway, who represents a part of Memphis and Shelby County, said that the bills will try to address issues like hiring, training, discipline, and mental health care for law enforcement officers.
Rep. Joe Towns Jr., who also represents a part of Memphis, said that legislation could pass through the State House as early as April or May.
Even though Republicans have a majority of 99 Representatives and Democrats only have 24, Towns said that this bill is not partisan and should pass on both sides of the legislature.
“It would be hard to watch this video (of Tyre Nichols) and see what happened to that young man and not want to do something. “What in the hell would happen if a dog in this county got beat up like that?” Cities Said.
As for national legislation, Crump asked Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which passed the Democratic-controlled House in 2021 but not the evenly split Senate.
This week, the Congressional Black Caucus wants to meet with Vice President Joe Biden to push for talks on police reform. In a news release on Sunday, Caucus Chair Steven Horsford wrote what he said.
He wrote, “We are asking our colleagues in the House and Senate to start negotiating right away and work with us to stop the public health crisis of police violence, which affects many of our communities disproportionately.” “Tyre Nichols’s brutal beating was murder, and it’s a sad reminder that we still have a long way to go to stop police violence in America as a whole.”
Sen. Dick Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois and the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, asked Congress to bring back legislation for national police reform and said that the legislation that had been put on hold was a good place to start.
“It’s a good place to start, and Sen. Cory Booker, chairman of the Crime Subcommittee, has been working on this for years.” I think he and Sen. (Tim) Scott should meet up again as soon as possible to see if we can bring that effort back to life. However, that is not enough on its own. He said, “We need a national conversation about police work in a way that is responsible, constitutional, and kind.”
I Will Never Have Another Baby
Nichols’ mother says that when she saw her son in the hospital bed, badly bruised and swollen, she knew he wasn’t going to make it.
Rowvaughn Wells told CNN, “When I saw that, I knew my son was gone for good.”
The mother said that the police officers who were accused of killing her son “brought shame to their own families.” “They made the black community look bad.”
“I Can’t Have My Baby.” She said, “I’ll never have my baby again.” She said that it gives her comfort to know that her son is a good person.
The 29-year-old man was a father and the youngest of four children in his family. His mother said that he was a “good boy” who spent Sundays doing laundry and getting ready for the week.
Nichols’ mother set up a GoFundMe page, and as of Sunday afternoon, it had raised more than $1,085,600. According to the page, the donations will help pay for Wells and her husband’s mental health services and time off from work. It also says that they want to build a memorial skate park in honour of Tyre and his love of skating and sunsets.
“My baby was just trying to get home to be safe in my arms,” says part of the online fundraiser. Tyre was unarmed, didn’t pose a threat, and was polite to the police the whole time.
His family said that Nichols loved being a father to his 4-year-old son.
Crump said at the family’s news conference that the man was trying to improve himself as a father for his 4-year-old son.
“He always said that one day he would be well known.” Wells said on Friday, “I didn’t know this is what he meant.”
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