The Americans discovered with horror this Friday evening the extremely violent video of the arrest of the African American Tire Nichols, who died at the age of 29. The pictures were released by the Memphis Police Department.
A simple nighttime road stop turned into a beating. The Memphis Police Department this Friday night released images of the brutal arrest of Tire Nichols and the relentlessness of the five officers. The young African American died three days later in hospital as a result of his injuries.
Over more than an hour of video, three minutes captured by a high-mounted camera, focuses on the numerous punches, kicks and batons used by a group of agents against this 29-year-old man on a sidewalk corner in the Halo of police flashing lights.
A flurry of blows
The following video is terribly violent. Tire Nichols is on the ground, being held by two police officers. One of them gives him a first knee, it’s the beginning of a beating order. A third police officer approaches with a baton in hand and hits the man twice on the ground. A fourth reports when his colleagues manage to straighten Tire Nichols. And he also hits, but with his fists, five times right in the face of the person he’s supposed to challenge.
The blows multiply, Tire Nichols tries to stay upright for a while before he falls to the ground. There follow long seconds of the man on the ground gesturing before being dragged to a car, where the police will try in vain to have him sit leaning against the door. For a brief moment the camera tracks his face, he is swollen and covered in blood.
The last picture shows the blue lights of an ambulance, which only arrives after about twenty minutes. Three days after those beatings, Tyler Nichols died in a Memphis hospital.
Joe Biden’s call for calm
On Friday evening, the first demonstrations took place in various cities across the country, including Washington and Memphis. More than 200 people demonstrated in New York, shouting “No justice, no peace”.
Activists across the country are taking to the streets demanding justice for Tire Nichols, who was killed by Memphis police.
Times Square protesters chant, “The whole damn system is guilty as hell!” pic.twitter.com/zv876ubgu8
— BreakThrough News (@BTnewsroom) January 28, 2023
[Olivier DOULIERY / AFP]” width=”375″/>
In a sign the case is potentially explosive, President Joe Biden called for the rallies to be “peaceful” and called Tire Nichols’ mother and stepfather that afternoon. Because his death is reminiscent of that of the African American George Floyd, who was killed by a police officer in May 2020. At that time, demonstrations against racism and police violence had set the country on fire, centered around the slogan “Black Lives Matter”.