Trump: Fatal police beating of Tyre Nichols ‘never should have happened’

Former President Trump said in a new interview that the fatal beating of Tyre Nichols at the hands of five Memphis, Tenn., police officers “never should have happened,” calling video of the incident “horrible.”

“I thought it was terrible,” Trump told The Associated Press on Saturday. “He was in such trouble. He was just being pummeled. Now that should never have happened.”

Nichols, 29, was beaten by police officers during a traffic stop in January and died three days later. Five Memphis police officers have now been arrested on second-degree murder and other charges.

Police footage of Nichols being beaten by the officers was released by the city late Friday, sparking outrage from officials, celebrities and the public for its brutality. 

After the death of George Floyd in May 2020, Trump called the killing a “grave tragedy” but aggressively confronted the demonstrations and protests that arose in many cities across the U.S. He and many in his administration also failed to acknowledge what many protestors see as racial bias in American policing.

Trump made the comments to The Associated Press while campaigning in South Carolina on Saturday, one of the first events in his 2024 White House bid. He also visited New Hampshire earlier in the day, as some have criticized the lackluster launch of the campaign.

And as other Republicans mull jumping into the GOP primary, Trump has attempted to block them out. He criticized Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who is reportedly considering a run of his own. 

“If he runs, that’s fine. I’m way up in the polls. He’s going to have to do what he wants to do, but he may run,” Trump said. “I do think it would be a great act of disloyalty because, you know, I got him in. He had no chance. His political life was over.”

Tags Donald Trump Nichols video Ron DeSantis Trump Trump Nichols Tyre Nichols

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