Thousands protest Tyre Nichols’s death in cities across the US
Thousands gathered in cities across the country over the weekend to protest the killing of Tyre Nichols, after the release of video footage on Friday showing Memphis police officers beating the 29-year old Black man, who later died.
In Milwaukee, Wisc., protests began at noon Sunday. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that a “large group” of protesters marched throughout the city and briefly stopped at the Milwaukee Police Department.
“We are demanding justice for Nichols and all victims of police violence. We are demanding accountability and transparency from the police,” Peace Action Wisconsin, one of the organizers, said in a statement on its website.
Thousands of protesters are also expected to gather in Oakland, CA, Sunday afternoon to demand change, ABC 7 reported. The Anti-Police Terror Project in Oakland is sponsoring the demonstrations, and demands that police officers be removed from traffic enforcement.
“Solidarity from the Bay to Tennessee! We demand Justice for Tyre Nichols and police OUT of traffic enforcement everywhere,” The Anti-Police Terror Project said in a statement on Twitter.
Nichols was pulled over for alleged reckless driving on Jan. 7. Video shows Memphis police officers aggressively pulling him out of his car and pushing him to the ground. After he tried to run away, officers caught up with him and beat him with a baton, and kicked and punched him for three minutes, the video footage shows.
The five officers who were involved were fired from the department and charged for the second-degree murder of Nichols.
Across the country, protests, vigils and demonstrations have been scheduled since Friday to show support for Tyre Nichols and demand action against police violence.
On Saturday, protesters gathered in cities including Phoenix, Ariz.; Baltimore, Md. and Dallas, Tex. And according to Liberation, a socialist news source, protests were planned Sunday in Alaska, Illinois, Connecticut, Florida, Missouri and Pennsylvania.
“Only the people can put an end to the regime of police terror that Black America is subjected to. We need to demonstrate in huge numbers to demand justice,” the website states.
CBS also reported that additional protests were planned in New York and New Jersey on Sunday.
Rodney Wells, Nichols’ father, urged people on Friday to keep protests in Memphis peaceful.
“We want peace. We do not want any type of uproar. We do not want any type of disturbance,” Wells said. “Please, please, protest, but protest safely.
The violence in Memphis has also renewed calls on Capitol Hill for national police reform, with many Democrats saying it is time to revisit the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act that was passed the House in 2020 but failed to move in the Senate.
The bill would ban chokeholds and no-knock warrants for all federal law enforcement agencies, create a national registry of police abuses and make the process easier for to sue and prosecute officers.
–Updated on Jan. 30 at 11:47 a.m.
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