Police departments in many cities are bracing for large protests and even unrest.
Image taken from the video captured during the arrest of Tyre Nichols
Twenty days after the incident, the video captured during the brutal arrest by five black police officers of Tire Nichols, a 29-year-old African-American who died three days after the beating, has been released by the authorities of the City of Memphis , in the southern United States.
The authorities of this large city of Tennessee, who have already warned of the shocking and horrifying nature of these images, urged the population to calm before demonstrations planned in reaction to this publication.
< p class="e-p">Divided into four different sequences, the video, which lasts approximately one hour, includes images of the initial traffic stop, the one near the house of Tire Nichols, and [images taken] from the portable cameras of several people at the scene, according to the police.
Image from surveillance video showing Tire Nichols after he was arrested by police officers from Memphis.
Tire Nichols was arrested by police for a traffic offense on January 7. A confrontation ensued with officers and the suspect fled, according to law enforcement.
Caught up, Tire Nichols was arrested in circumstances that the authorities did not want to reveal. However, according to footage released on Friday, officers used a Taser and pepper spray along with what appears to be tear gas to subdue him before beating him for three minutes.
The fourth and final sequence is taken from a surveillance camera. There is no sound, but it shows officers holding Tire Nichols to the ground while other officers kick him in the head and other parts of his body. He was handcuffed during that time.
Tire Nichols on the ground after his arrest by the Memphis police
Once subdued, he appears sitting on the ground and leaning against one of the police cars parked in the street. He falls several times, then one of the policemen shouts at him: Get up, you motherfucker! Several officers can be heard giggling.
After complaining of difficulty breathing, Tire Nichols was hospitalized and died three days later.
In the video, Tire Nichols is heard calling his mother three times: Mom, mom, mom! He was a few blocks from his home when he was arrested, according to his family.
The time that elapsed before the victim received medical treatment also raises questions. According to images released Friday, rescuers arrived about 10 minutes later but did not provide first aid to the young man, lying on the ground, visibly unconscious. He was not examined until about 20 minutes later.
Reacting minutes after the explosive video was made public, President Joe Biden said he was outraged and deeply hurt.
The five police officers involved in the arrest of Tire Nichols have been fired, arrested and charged with murder, battery and kidnapping.
The five police officers − Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Desmond Mills Jr., Emmitt Martin III, and Justin Smith − have been charged with murder and arrested. Four of them were later released on bail.
On Thursday, Shelby County District Attorney Steven Mulroy said the five officers involved face the following charges: second-degree murder, concerted action, aggravated kidnapping, malfeasance in the exercise of their functions and abuse of authority in the exercise of their functions. Fired last week, these officers had joined the ranks of the Memphis police force for the past six years.
Tire Nichols' family attorney, Ben Crump, praised the speed with which the officers were arrested, regardless of their ethnicity. It was America's police culture that was behind Tyre's death, he said.
In Washington, President Biden, who says he spoke with the family of the victim, called in a press release for a rapid, complete and transparent investigation into this tragedy and called for the demonstrations to be peaceful.
High tensions in the United States after the broadcast of a video showing the brutal arrest of Tire Nichols, an African-American intercepted for a simple traffic violation. The 29-year-old died three days after being arrested and beaten by five black police officers in Memphis. They were all charged yesterday with second degree murder. Converse by Frédéric Arnould.
Responses and action: About 50 protesters gathered in Memphis on Friday evening to demand justice after the publication of the video captured during the violent arrest of Tire Nichols.
What are you going to do? asks a protester wielding a megaphone at Martyrs Park in central Memphis, addressing the city's police chief.
As of 6 p.m. Friday evening, local time, the few dozen demonstrators set off to cries of No justice, no peace.
They quickly succeeded in blocking a major axis of the city, which caused major traffic jams.
If we decided to come here tonight, it's first because the family [of Tyre Nichols] told us that if we demonstrated , we had to do it peacefully,” said L.J. Abraham, a community activist from Memphis.
New York police detain a protester on day of the broadcast of a video showing police beating Tire Nichols.
The motorcade continued on its way to a bridge that spans the Mississippi River and also blocked traffic in its four lanes.
The demonstrators present were not all from Memphis: some had come from neighboring states, before the video was published.
Despite the unrest expected by the authorities at the time of the publication of the video, downtown Memphis remained calm and the businesses open.
In the morning, a few police officers patrolled on horseback, but it was mainly tourists who paced mainly the streets of the blues capital of the world.
Demonstrators march through the streets of Washington to protest the death of Tire Nichols.
In addition, police forces in other cities, such as Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Nashville, Atlanta, Dallas and New York, are also on the alert. Some have implemented contingency plans in the event that large protests or even unrest occur.
The United States Department of Homeland Security said in a statement that it is coordinating its efforts with all levels of government and affected communities in an effort to keep the public safe. Separately, two Joe Biden advisers have spoken to the mayors of 16 US cities about the protests.
By early evening, protesters were beginning to gather in Washington even before the video was released. No justice, no peace, they intoned, as a video of Tire Nichols was projected onto the facade of a nearby building.
This case finds a particular echo in a country still marked by the murder of George Floyd by a police officer in May 2020, as well as by the demonstrations against racism and police violence that followed, federated around the Black Lives Matter movement (La Black Lives Matter). The recent drama has reignited the debate about police brutality in the country.
On Thursday, Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis clarified that the video in question was comparable to the one captured during the violent arrest of Rodney King in 1991, or even worse than this one. The acquittal a year later of the four police officers involved sparked unprecedented riots in Los Angeles.
RowVaughn Wells, the mother of Tyre Nichols, has warned the people of Memphis about the gruesome nature of the footage from the drama. She claims not to have seen the video, unlike her husband, but she saw with her own eyes the abuse suffered by her son when she visited him in the hospital a few hours after his beating.
Residents of Memphis, Tennessee hold a candlelight vigil for Tire Nichols, 29, died three days after being brutally arrested by five police officers on January 7, 2023.
When my husband and I arrived at the hospital and saw my son, he was already dead. They had reduced him to a pulp. He had bruises everywhere, his head was swollen like a watermelon, she said in tears in an interview with CNN on Friday shortly before the broadcast of the video showing the brutal arrest of her son.
Where did their humanity go? They beat my son like a pinata, she continued, referring to the decorated object that children blast with sticks to collect candy and toys at birthday parties, an imported tradition from Mexico.
Tire liked to skateboard […] and went out every night to watch the sunset and take pictures, she says. He had a tattoo with my name on his arm […]. Does that strike you as someone who disrespects the police?
Despite her distress, she said she hopes neither her city nor any other will x27; will ignite. When the video comes out, it will be horrible, but I want you to demonstrate peacefully, she launched Thursday evening to the crowd who paid tribute to her son.
I don't I don't want you to burn the cities, to devastate the streets, because that's not what my son would have wanted, she insisted, and because we have to live there.
< p class="e-p">As for the officers, this grieving mother assured CNN to pity them. They shame their families and the African-American community, she said.
With information from CNN, Agence France-Presse, The Washington Post, and Associated Press