Police beat driver Tire Nichols for three minutes leading up to his death, the family said after viewing video of the incident.
Civil rights activists have called for “accountability and justice” after they said a motorist was beaten to death by law enforcement officers in Tennessee, in the latest case being violent police to entice the United States.
Tire Nichols died after stopping traffic in Memphis, Tennessee earlier this month. Tuesday, civil rights lawyer Ben CrumpA representative for the Nichols family, said police took the 29-year-old man away from his family, his community and his 4-year-old son.
“Accountability and justice is the only way forward,” Crump wrote on Twitter.
Crump’s statement came after Nichols’ family and attorneys were allowed to see body-camera footage of the incident on Monday, leading to outrage. The footage has not been released to the public, but lawyers say the video shows him being beaten for three minutes in what they call a “barbaric” encounter.
“He was defenseless the whole time. He’s a human piñata for those police officers,” Antonio Romanucci, Crump’s co-advisor, told reporters Monday.
“It was an unrelenting, unwavering and unprovoked beating of the boy for three minutes. That’s what we saw in that video.”
Lawyers said the authorities promised to release the video within the next two weeks. Various local, state and federal agencies are investigating the incident.
Police say they tried to arrest Nichols, a Black man, on January 10 for reckless driving, but a “confrontation broke out” as he tried to flee the scene. school by walking. Nichols was taken to a local hospital and died three days later.
On Friday, police announced that five officers involved in the arrest had been fired after an administrative investigation determined that they used excessive force or failed to intervene and assist Nichols. .
“The Memphis Police Department is committed to protecting and defending the rights of every citizen in our city,” Memphis Police Superintendent Cerelyn “CJ” Davis said in a statement. “The serious nature of this incident does not reflect the good work our officers perform, with integrity, on a daily basis.”
All five officers are Black, but Crump says that’s irrelevant, noting that black and brown drivers often face discrimination regardless of officers’ race. and the grief of Nichols’ death was “just like that.”
Crump compared the Nichols case to the infamous 1991 police beating. King Rodney in Los Angeles, which has sparked violent protests and been the catalyst for calls for police reform.
“Unfortunately, it reminds us of [the] Video by Rodney King,” Crump said. “Unfortunately, unlike Rodney King, Tire did not survive.”
Nichols’ mother, RowVaughn Wells, said her son was “killed by police”. “My son does not take drugs. He doesn’t carry a gun. He doesn’t like confrontation. None of them. That’s why it’s so hard,” she said.
Nichols’ death comes more than two years after nationwide protests demanding racial justice and an end to police brutality following the murder. George Floyd by a police officer in Minnesota, who knelt on his neck.
Congress of the United States of America fought passed major police reforms to address questions of excessive force despite growing calls from activists.