US on edge over video of fatal police beating - GulfToday

US on edge over video of fatal police beating


The image from video by the City of Memphis, shows Tyre Nichols being treated by paramedics after a brutal attack by five Memphis police officers on Jan. 7, 2023, in Memphis, Tennessee. Nichols died on Jan. 10. AP

Gulf Today Report  

The southern US city of Memphis braced itself for unrest on Friday as authorities prepared to release a video depicting the fatal assault of a Black man by five police officers who, the victim's mother said, "beat him to a pulp."

The police officers, who are all Black and charged with murder, are seen taking turns to kick and punch the 29-year-old victim Nichols on January 7 as he screamed for his mother during the incident at a traffic stop, the BBC reported.


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The police officers, who are also Black, were charged with second-degree murder in the beating of Nichols, who died in hospital on January 10, three days after being stopped on suspicion of reckless driving.

Police on horseback patrolled downtown Memphis ahead of expected protests, with the victim's family and officials calling for demonstrations to be peaceful.

Tyre Nichols speaks about waiting in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles in Sacramento in July 2018. Reuters

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden said he was "outraged" and "deeply pained" after watching a violent encounter between Nichols, 29, and the five police officers charged with murder in his beating death after a traffic stop earlier this month. "Like so many, I was outraged and deeply pained to see the horrific video of the beating that resulted in Tyre Nichols' death," Biden said in a statement.

He added the Nichols' families deserves a swift, full and transparent investigation.

"The footage that was released this evening will leave people justifiably outraged," Biden said in a statement, urging protesters to remain peaceful.

"Those who seek justice should not resort to violence or destruction," Biden said.

Earlier, the US city of Memphis on Friday released graphic video footage depicting the fatal police assault of a 29-year-old Black man, sparking small protests against police brutality in a number of US cities but none that flared into the violence that officials had feared.

Protesters rally against the fatal police assault on Tyre Nichols, at Times Square in New York City, on Friday. AFP

Five Memphis officers, all also Black, were charged with second-degree murder in the beating of Tyre Nichols, who died in hospital on January 10 three days after being stopped on suspicion of reckless driving.

The lengthy video footage from police body cameras shows a group of officers detaining Nichols, attempting to take him down with the use of a Taser, then giving chase as he evades them.

Subsequent segments — the footage runs about an hour in total, and is audio-only in parts — show Nichols crying out for his mother, and moaning as officers repeatedly kick and punch him.

Addressing an emotional press conference earlier Friday, the victim's mother RowVaughn Wells called out the officers who she said beat her son "to a pulp," telling them: "You disgraced your own families when you did this."

NYPD officers arrest a demonstrator as people against protest the death of Tyre Nichols in New York City on Friday. AFP

Protests erupted across the US after the release of a footage which showed five former police officers in Memphis brutally beating an African-American man who died three days later after the gruesome incident.

On Friday, the Memphis Police Department released four graphic videos, totalling more than an hour of footage.

The first video shows officers pulling Nichols out of his vehicle and shouting at him to get on the ground.

"I didn't do anything!" he says. Officers demand that he lie down flat.

Within seconds, one of the officers fires a Taser at the victim, who leaps up and manages to run away.

A separate video, from a CCTV camera mounted on a utility pole, shows officers beating Nichols after catching up with him in a residential area.

Two officers are seen holding him down while others take turns kicking and punching him and striking him with an expandable baton.

People gather at Times Square to protest against the death of Tyre Nichols in New York City on Friday. AFP

They drag him across the ground and prop him sitting up against a squad car.

The third and fourth videos show police body camera footage of the beating, with Nichols being held down, pepper-sprayed and assaulted as he repeatedly shouts: "Mom!"

The five officers -- Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Desmond Mills Jr, Emmitt Martin III, and Justin Smith -- were fired last week and were taken into custody on Thursday, the BBC reported.

Each faces charges of second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression.

Four of the five posted bail and were released from custody by Friday morning, according to jail records.

Shortly after the footage was released, protests erupted in New York and Memphis.

Rallies and demonstrations were also planned to be held in Washington, Chicago, Boston, Detroit, Dallas, Philadelphia, San Francisco, San Diego, Atlanta and Portland.




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