MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Demonstrators outside a Memphis Police Department precinct called for charges to be brought against an officer seen firing what looks like a Taser in a video of five other officers beating a Black man to death.
Sunday, protests and vigils were planned all over the country, two days after police in Memphis were caught on camera kicking and punching Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old father, skateboarder, and FedEx worker, with no mercy.
The five people charged with murder in Nichols’ death are all Black, but the officer with the Taser is heard saying, “I hope they stomp his ass.” The small group of people who were protesting outside the police station wanted to know who he was.
Casio Montez, an activist, said, “They are charging the black officers.” “We want to know who that white officer is. We want him to be arrested.”
The Memphis protesters held three-minute periods of silence, which is how long Nichols was beaten during a traffic stop on January 7. Three days later, he died.
“That was the longest three minutes of silence I’ve ever experienced,” said activist Jennifer Cain, whose group planned the protest that about 30 people attended. “It’s been beating for three minutes. Three minutes of screaming and calling for his mom.”
Protests have been scattered and peaceful in cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Portland, Oregon. Peace Action Wisconsin was one of the groups in Milwaukee that put on a march from Red Arrow Park to a local police station.
The group says on its website, “The body cam footage is horrible and can’t be watched.” “We want justice for Nichols and for all people who have been hurt by police. We want the police to be responsible and open with us.”
On Sunday night, hundreds of people gathered in Oakland, California, to rally against police brutality and march for Nichols. The Anti Police-Terror Project put on the rally, where many people from the community and activists spoke.
“I haven’t even seen the video yet. All I needed to know was who was involved, “Urban Peace Movement’s youth advocacy and programme coordinator Dieudonné Brou spoke at the protest. “The same thing keeps happening over and over again. Then we go home and sit down, wondering, “Is this going to be our fate?””
“We can’t just let this go:” Sunday service is held at a church in Mississippi
When the Rev. J. Lawrence Turner asked Sunday morning for anyone who wanted to pray to come forward or stand up, almost everyone in the Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church stood up.
Turner’s Sunday sermon focused on how Jesus was treated badly by Roman soldiers and how Nichols was treated badly by Memphis police, but it also looked ahead.
Turner said, “We can’t just sit this one out.” “We can’t just watch, we have to join the struggle, we have to fight. What does that mean, though? That doesn’t mean you should go out and wreck the city. That means we have to have some tough talks with the people in charge. To hold someone responsible, you don’t have to hate them.”