Note: This article may contain commentary reflecting the author's opinion.

On Friday evening, the Memphis Police Department released the bodycam footage of an interaction between five former Memphis Police Officers and 29-year-old Tyre Nichols, which lead to the death of Nichols.

On January 7th, Nichols was pulled over for “reckless driving” and a confrontation with police ensued. According to the Memphis Police Department, While attempting to take the suspect into custody, another confrontation occurred; however, the suspect was ultimately apprehended. Afterward, the suspect complained of having shortness of breath, at which point an ambulance was called to the scene.”

Officers Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmit Martin II, Desmond Mills Jr., and Justin Smith were all arrested and charged with one count of second-degree murder and two counts of aggravated kidnapping. It is note worthy to point out that all five officers involved in the incident were black. In an interview with CNN, Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis stated the video would show, “acts that defy humanity.” Davis also announced Saturday that the special Scorpion Unit that the officers were a part of has been shut down.

President Joe Biden (D) released a statement via Twitter about the death of Nichols, calling it, Yet another painful reminder of the profound fear and trauma, the pain, and the exhaustion that Black and Brown Americans experience every single day.”

With the release of the bodycam footage came protests across different major cities in the United States. Multiple protests throughout the city of Memphis occurred Friday night into Saturday morning, with the most prominent protest shutting down the I-55 bridge Friday night.


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In New York City, protests broke out in Times Square over the release of the footage, with one man being detained by NYPD after jumping on and damaging an NYPD patrol car.

In Los Angeles, LAPD Officers in riot gear faced off with protesters outside the department headquarters. What began as a candlelight vigil for Nichols and Keenan Anderson quickly turned tense, as protestors knocked down metal protective barriers in front of the headquarters and graffiti could be seen underneath the department sign.

Both President Biden as well as Tyre Nichols’ mother Row Vaughn Wells reiterated the importance of keeping all protests peaceful.

“I don’t want us burning up our cities, tearing up the streets, because that’s not what my son stood for, and if you guys are here for me and Tyre, then you will protest peacefully.” Wells stated in an interview with CNN.

President Biden reiterated this plea, stating, “Violence is never acceptable; it is illegal and destructive. I join with Mr. Nichols’ family in calling for peaceful protests.”

Below is the bodycam footage released by the Memphis Police Department (WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT):

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