Protests have erupted across the United States after the Memphis Police Department released a horrifying video showing officers beating Tyre Nichols.
On Friday, Jan. 7, police released body camera footage of Nichols being kicked, punched in the face and head and beaten with a bat. On January 20, five black police officers were fired for their involvement in Nicholas’ murder.
Even before the video was released, the Memphis Police Department had deployed additional officers across the city due to concerns about public backlash.
In addition to Memphis, activists are planning protests in seven other major cities. These include New York, Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, Boston and Portland. Demonstrations in Times Square turned violent, with protesters clashing with police, leading to several arrests.
Three people were arrested after a fight with police officers at the Crossroads of the World in Los Angeles. Protesters also gathered in Atlanta and New York. Shortly after the video was released, activists marched in Memphis and occupied a bridge connecting Tennessee and Arkansas. Amid palpable emotions, Nichols’ family and US officials are appealing for calm
Read Also: Protests in Peru cause ‘nationwide chaos’ as more than 50 people are injured
Nicholas’ family and US officials have called for calm amid the apparent tension. The Los Angeles Times quoted Nichols’ mother, Rowe Vaughn Wells, as saying, “When that tape comes out [Friday], it’s going to be scary.” “But I want each of you to protest peacefully. If you’re here for me and Teal, then protest peacefully. Georgia’s Republican governor, Brian Kemp, declared a state of emergency on Thursday in light of the footage.
The Metropolitan Police said in a statement that it “respects the community’s First Amendment right to demonstration and peaceful protest,” adding that it “will not tolerate any unlawful conduct during First Amendment demonstrations.”