Memphis church pastor reiterated call for calm following release of video showing Tyre Nichols’ family speaking for peace from pulpit after his brutal killing and fatal police beating .
Cities across the country are gearing up for protests after body-cam footage showing Memphis police beating Nichols, 29, who died of his injuries three days after the Jan. 7 attack, was released on Friday. But protests in Memphis, New York City, Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon were scattered and non-violent.
“We’ve been in peace, that’s what we’ve been praying for,” Pastor Kenneth Thomas said before services began at Mount Olive Cathedral Church. “And of course I hope it continues.”
Thomas also offered a prayer for the Nichols family, asking God to “show Thy blessings upon them.”
More than a dozen protesters then marched with signs to the Memphis Police Department, not far from the scene of the assault, banging on doors and demanding they be let inside. .
Some protesters vulgarly insulted police officers, all shouting “Stop working!” However, the protests remained peaceful.
Protesters then observed a three-minute silence designed to coincide with the time Nichols was beaten.
As it ended, protester Jennifer Kane yelled, “Say his name!” The group replied, “Tire Nichols!”
“Now imagine being beaten by someone who weighs over 1,000 pounds and weighs less than 150 pounds,” Kane said. “That’s three minutes of being beaten, screamed and yelled at for his mom.”
“When are you going to stop?” she asked. “When will it end? Will we continue it?”
The loss of a family member is “still very emotional” for the family, a lawyer representing them said Sunday.
“His mother has trouble sleeping, but believes in her heart knowing that Tyre was sent here for a mission and that there will be greater benefit from this tragedy. I keep praying,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.”
Citing a “cloud of disgrace” from a newly released video, Crump welcomed the dissolution of the city’s so-called Scorpion unit, announced Saturday by Police Chief Selerin “CJ” Davis.
The day after the harrowing video was released, Davis took action, listening to Nichols’ relatives, community leaders, and unrelated police officers to make the decision. The video took place as they struggled to deal with police brutality, who are black in . has been renewed.
Crump told “This Week” that Nichols’ case points to a systemic problem with how people of color are treated, regardless of whether officers are white, black, or otherwise. .
The “unspoken police bias” culture that exists in America is just as responsible for Nichols’ death as the five black police officers who killed him, Crump said.
“I believe that part of the organized police culture somehow allows this type of excessive force and brutality to be used against people of color,” Crump said. “It’s the race of the citizen, not the race of the police, that decides whether or not to use excessive force.”
He claimed other members of the Memphis community were attacked by the now-shut-down Scorpion unit, which had been inactive since Nichols was arrested on January 7.
Scorpion stands for Street Crime Operation to Restore Neighborhood Peace.
Officers involved in Nichols’ assault, Tadarius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Desmond Mills Jr., Emmitt Martin III, and Justin Smith, have been fired and charged with murder and other charges involved in Nichols’ death. They face up to 60 years in prison if convicted of second-degree murder.
The video shows police officers severely beating Nichols, a FedEx employee, for three minutes and continuing to shout profanities. Nichols called for his mother before his limping body was propped up by a police car and the officers butted his fists together.
Brenda Goss Andrews, president of the National Black Law Enforcement Agency, told The Associated Press that she was attacked by police officers as soon as she stepped out of her car. was never a matter of escalation,” she said, adding, “The young man didn’t stand a chance.”
In a call with U.S. President Joe Biden, Crump and Nichols’ parents discussed the need for federal reform, such as the George Floyd Police Act, filed with the police department to make it easier to prosecute violating officers.
Biden told Nichols’ mother that he plans to “appeal” Congress to pass the Floyd Act “to control this.”
The Memphis Police Department had already implemented reforms after Floyd’s murder, including requiring them to de-escalate or intervene if they saw others using excessive force.
Democratic Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, who chairs the Judiciary Committee, said “this week” that Congress “passed additional measures such as screening, training, and certification, and the people who are responsible for this are making us feel guilty.” We can step up our game to keep it going.” safe is really stable and takes a professional approach to this. ”
The fact that law enforcement is primarily a state and local responsibility “doesn’t absolve us. Under the federal constitution, we have standards for which we are responsible, standards of due process, etc.,” Durbin said. said.
“What we saw on the streets of Memphis was inhumane and terrifying,” he said. “I don’t know what caused this. The anger of a police officer trying to congratulate himself for beating someone to death. But it literally happened.”
https://www.voanews.com/a/pastor-prays-for-peace-after-brutal-beating-of-tyre-nichols/6939422.html Pastor prays for peace after Tyre Nichols’ brutal beating