U.S. President Joe Biden has said that he is outraged and deeply pained to see the horrific video of the beating of African American youth Tyre Nichols in Memphis city of Tennessee that ultimately resulted in his death earlier this month.
The release of the graphic video by the Memphis police on January 27 evening has increased social tension across the country. Protests in New York City were largely peaceful despite the three arrests and some minor clashes between police and protesters in the city.
The White House had a call with Mayors of several cities including those from Atlanta, Aftab Pureval, and Cleveland Mayor Justin Morris Bibb to calm down tensions.
“Like so many, I was outraged and deeply pained to see the horrific video of the beating that resulted in Tyre Nichols’ death. It 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,” Mr. Biden said on Friday, soon after the video was released.
According to The New York Times, videos of the January 7 incident show Memphis police kicking and beating Tyre Nichols, 29, as he begs them to stop. He was on his way home on January 7, when police pulled him over for alleged reckless driving.
In the videos released by the authorities on Friday, five Memphis police officers were seen holding Nichols down and beating him with their fists, boots and batons as he screamed for his mother.
“Throughout the beating, which lasts about three minutes, Nichols does not appear to ever strike back. Several times, he moves his hands to cover his face, seeming to cower from the officers’ blows,” The Daily reported.
The father of a four-year-old boy, Nichols, died in a hospital three days later. He worked at a FedEx facility.
Calls for justice and accountability against police brutality
Joining Mr. Biden in his call for accountability and transparency, Vice President Kamala Harris said the persistent issue of police misconduct and use of excessive force in America must end now.
“We must build trust—not fear—within our communities,” she said.
Indian American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal said Tyre Nichols should be alive today.
“This was a brutal murder with utter disregard for human life. And it wasn’t an isolated incident — rather part of a pattern of police brutality that stains our nation. Tyre’s life mattered. There must be justice and accountability,” she said.
The five Memphis police officers have been fired. They have been charged with second-degree murder. In a statement, Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis has called the incident "heinous, reckless, and inhumane."
Peaceful protests were reported in various cities including Memphis following the release of the video.
Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass said no words can express the chilling familiarity of a Black man crying out for his mother as he is beaten to death by officers of the law who are sworn to protect people.
“My heart aches for Tyre’s family and all who loved him,” she said.