Photos: Protesters demand justice for Tyre Nichols across U.S. after Memphis police bodycam footage is released
Protests unfolded across the U.S. on Friday night after body camera footage and surveillance video showing Memphis police officers brutally beating Tyre Nichols were released.
Protests unfolded across the U.S. on Friday night after body camera footage and surveillance video showing Memphis, Tenn., police officers brutally beating Tyre Nichols were released.
Nichols’s family, the Memphis police chief and President Biden called on protesters to remain peaceful in response to the videos, which Biden said that after viewing left him “outraged and deeply pained.”
In Memphis, where Nichols — a 29-year-old Black man who died on Jan. 10, three days after five officers tased, pepper-sprayed and assaulted him — around 100 protesters blocked the Interstate 55 bridge in both directions, bringing semitrucks and other vehicles to a halt.
Demonstrators filled New York City’s Times Square, demanding justice for Nichols, a FedEx driver and father of a 4-year-old son.
"Say his name! Tyre Nichols!" they chanted as part of the largely peaceful protests that traveled through Manhattan. “What's his name? Tyre! Say his name. Tyre!"
Three people were arrested, including one who was seen jumping on a police cruiser and smashing its windshield. The city’s police commissioner said there will be an “increased police presence” in New York throughout the weekend.
In Chicago, people attended peaceful vigils and rallies across the city calling for justice not only for Nichols, but also for Anthony Alvarez, a 22-year-old man who was fatally shot by a Chicago police officer in March 2021.
“From Memphis to Chicago, these killer cops have got to go,” they shouted.
Protesters also gathered outside the White House in Washington, D.C., where the Metropolitan Police Department activated more than 3,000 officers to remain on duty this weekend to prepare for potential unrest.
In Los Angeles, officers were dressed in riot gear to face off with protesters who attended a vigil for Nichols and Keenan Anderson, a 31-year-old high school teacher who died in LAPD custody earlier this month, hours after police restrained and tased him six times in 42 seconds after an alleged hit-and-run accident.
President Biden spoke with Nichols’s parents on Friday, and in a statement said the body camera footage showing his fatal beating is “yet another painful reminder of the profound fear and trauma, the pain, and the exhaustion that Black and Brown Americans experience every single day.”
The five police officers involved in Nichols’s death — Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith — were fired for conduct that the police chief said violated department policies. The former cops, all of whom are Black, were booked and charged with second-degree murder and other offenses on Thursday. They have since posted bond and been released.
Two Memphis fire department employees were “relieved of duty” after Nichols’s death. After the body camera footage was released to the public Friday, two Shelby County sheriff’s deputies were placed on administrative leave.
Here’s a look at the protests that unfolded across the U.S. on Friday night.