US President Biden "outraged, deeply pained" after video of police beating man to death released
Jan 28, 2023
Washington [US], January 28 : US President Joe Biden said that he was "outraged and deeply pained" to see the video of the fatal police beating of the 29-year-old Black man Tyre Nichols.
In a statement, Biden termed it "yet another painful reminder of the profound fear and trauma" that Black and Brown Americans face every day.
In his statement, Biden said that the video that has been released will leave people "justifiably outraged." However, he called on the people to not resort to violence or destruction and stressed, "violence is never acceptable." Biden's statement followed the release of events related to the beating of Nichols.
"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," Biden said in a statement.
Biden offered condolences to Nichols' family and people in the US grieving the painful loss. US President Joe Biden said that he spoke with Nichols' mother, RowVaughn Wells and stepfather Rodney Wells. He emphasised that there are no words to describe the grief of losing a beloved child and young father. Biden said that Tyre Nichols' family deserve a "swift, full and transparent investigation."
"My heart goes out to Tyre Nichols' family and to Americans in Memphis and across the country who are grieving this tremendously painful loss. The footage that was released this evening will leave people justifiably outraged. Those who seek justice should not to resort to violence or destruction. Violence is never acceptable; it is illegal and destructive. I join Mr. Nichols' family in calling for peaceful protest," Biden said in a statement.
He further added, "I spoke with RowVaughn Wells and Rodney Wells, Mr. Nichols' mother and stepfather, this afternoon. There are no words to describe the heartbreak and grief of losing a beloved child and young father. Nothing can bring Mr. Nichols back to his family and the Memphis community. But Mr. and Mrs. Wells, Mr. Nichols' son, and his whole family deserve a swift, full, and transparent investigation."
The US President said that they must do everything to ensure that the criminal justice system lives up to the promise of fair and impartial justice. He emphasised that real and lasting change will come only if action is taken to prevent tragedies like this from happening again.
US Vice President Kamala Harris also issued a statement saying, "Tyre Nichols should have made it home to his family. Yet, once again, America mourns the life of a son and father brutally cut short at the hands of those sworn to protect and serve. The footage and images released tonight will forever be seared in our memories, and they open wounds that will never fully heal."
Harris said that persistent issues of police misconduct must end in the United States. She further said, "I join President Biden in his call for accountability and transparency. We must build trust-not fear-within our communities."
Numerous protests have erupted across the US after video footage showing police being Tyre Nichols was released on Friday. The five officers involved in the arrest have been fired and are facing criminal charges, including second-degree murder.
Protesters shut down the Interstate 55 bridge in Memphis, CNN reported citing Memphis Police Department police spokesperson Louis Brownlee. Brownlee said that there are less than 100 protesters and they appear to be starting to disperse.
Three demonstrators were arrested in Times Square on Friday night. One of the demonstrators was seen jumping on the hood of a police vehicle and breaking the windshield, CNN reported citing a spokesperson for the New York Police Department.
The person who allegedly broke the police vehicle's windshield was charged with criminal mischief. According to CNN, protests in New York City were largely peaceful despite the three arrests and some minor clashes between police and protesters in the city.
The city of Memphis on Friday (local time) released videos that show police officers kicking and beating Nichols, a 29-year-old, Black man. Nichols was hospitalized after the arrest on January 7 and died three days later due to injuries, CNN reported citing police.
Video captured from a remotely controlled camera mounted on a utility pole in the area shows Memphis police officers hitting Nichols at least nine times without visible provocation, as per CNN. An officer is shown shoving Nichols hard to the pavement with a knee or leg when the camera turns towards the incident site.
According to CNN, Nichols is pulled by his shoulders and then kicked in the face. He was then pulled into a sitting position. The video shows Nichols being hit in the back with what seems to be a baton. After being pulled to his knees, Nichols was again beaten.
After being pulled to his feet, the officers hit Nichols in the face multiple times while his hands were kept behind his body after which he falls to his knees, according to CNN. In the video, an officer then appears to kick Nichols.
More than three minutes after the encounter is seen on camera, officers let go of Nichols, and he rolls onto his back. After one minute, Nichols was dragged along the pavement and propped up in a sitting position against the side of a car, as per the CNN report. After ten minutes, a person who seems to be a paramedic finally attends to Nichols.
According to the video released by the city of Memphis, Nichols during his initial confrontation with police was heard telling officers that he is "just trying to go home," as per the news report. The video released by Shelby County District Attorney's office showed the medical response to Nichols moments after he was beaten.
About two minutes after paramedics started attending to Nichols, he is seen falling over to the side and seeming to hit his head against a piece of equipment. As per the CNN report, no one appears to help Nichols as he tries to sit up.
After a minute, officers were seen crowding around Nichols. The pole camera showed that 23 minutes pass from the time Nichols appears to be subdued and on his back on the ground before a stretcher arrived at the site, as per the news report. After two minutes, an ambulance arrived at the site of the incident.