Biden outraged and saddened by the Tyre Nichols police beating
“Like many others, I was outraged and deeply saddened to see the horrific video of the beating that led to Tyre Nichols’ death,” Biden said in a statement. The president added that Nichols’ family deserves a prompt, full and transparent investigation.
Joe Biden said he was “very concerned” about the possibility of violence following the release of the video. He said he had already spoken to Nichols’ mother and would ask Congress to pass a law against police violence.
The beating of Tyre Nichols, 29, a FedEx worker, occurred in early January when police stopped his car on suspicion of reckless driving. Nichols died of his injuries three days later.
The officers, on Jan. 26, were charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official harassment. All of the officers have been dismissed from the police force.
Video footage was released the day after the charges were filed. In the footage, the officers can be seen brutally beating Nichols for three minutes after stopping his vehicle. Two can be seen holding Nichols down while others kick him while constantly shouting profanities. At least one of the police officers used a baton. In another piece of multi-camera footage, totaling more than an hour, Nichols can be heard calling for his mother.
Nichols’ mother, Rowvon Wells, called for any protests to remain peaceful: “I don’t want us to burn our city, ravage the streets, because that’s not what my son was going for,” she said in her interview after the footage was published.
During a Jan. 27 news conference at a Memphis church, Nichols’ stepfather, Rodney Wells, said their family is satisfied with the progress of the court investigation.
“We want peace. We don’t want any noise. We don’t want any commotion. We want a peaceful protest,” he said. – The family is satisfied with the way the police chief, the district attorney are handling the investigation.” Attorneys for the Ben Crump family and Antonio Romanucci also expressed satisfaction with the quick action of the district attorney’s office.
According to Romanucci, the officers served in the Street Crimes Operation to Restore Peace in Our Neighborhoods unit; SCORPION. In his opinion, such units sometimes operate with excessive force compared to regular police. He called on the Memphis Police Department to disband the unit.
Major Cities Chiefs Association; MCCA stated: “The death of Tyr Nichols is deeply disturbing and the video is painful. The behavior of the police officers was inhumane and unjustifiable.” The association supported Memphis Police Chief Cereleen Davis’ decision to immediately dismiss the officers.
Nevertheless, Memphis and some other cities in the United States are preparing for possible protests after the video was published. Civic demonstrations were held in Memphis on the evening of Jan. 27, when several dozen demonstrators blocked the bridge on Interstate 55. Demonstrators also gathered for rallies in Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, and Portland. In Washington, dozens of protesters gathered in Lafayette Park across from the White House and near Black Lives Matter Plaza. There were no reports of violent actions.
Speaking at a Jan. 27 news conference in Washington, D.C., FBI Director Christopher Wray said the bureau has warned all its field offices to cooperate with state law enforcement “should the situation get out of hand.” Ray added that he was shocked by the released video. “I’m struggling to find the words, but I would just say I was shocked,” he said.
“I want to echo what the family of the victim said and urge everyone who watched the video to protest peacefully and nonviolently,” Attorney General Merrick Garland added at a news conference. – That’s exactly what the family insists on, and that’s what the Justice Department is calling for.”
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