Shock in America.. Shocking footage exposing police violence towards Tyre Nichols
The US city of Memphis authorities published a painful video clip showing two policemen beating a 29-year-old black man, leading to his death, which sparked limited protests in a number of American cities to condemn the police's behavior without developing into the unrest feared by officials.
Five Memphis police officers, also all black, have been charged with second-degree murder for striking Tyre Nichols, who died in hospital on January 10, three days after he was arrested on suspicion of reckless driving.
A long video captured by police cameras and a street surveillance camera shows the police arresting Nichols, trying to pin him down with a taser, and then chasing him down after he tries to flee from them.
Later scenes of the video, which lasts for about an hour, and in parts of which voices are heard, show Nichols crying, calling for his mother and groaning as the cops punched and kicked him.
During a press conference earlier Friday, the victim's mother, Rovon Wells, called for calm, but she turned to the policemen who beat her son "to death," as she put it, by saying, "You have shamed your families by doing this."
US President Joe Biden spoke with Nichols' mother, who he said was "clearly in great pain," and praised the family's "courage and determination" and "strong appeal" to keep the protests peaceful.
Nichols, the father of a four-year-old boy, used to work for FedEx.
He loved surfing and taking pictures, and had his mother's name tattooed on his arm.
"My heart aches ... for a mother to know that her son was calling her in her time of need and I was not there," Wills said at the press conference.
"My son was kind-hearted ... he was good. No human being is perfect, but he was close to that," she added.
Protests took place in Memphis, Washington, New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta and other cities on Friday evening, albeit limited and largely peaceful.
Many compared the death of the young man to the killing of George Floyd in May 2020, the black American who died of suffocation under the knee of a white policeman in Minneapolis.
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