Washington, Jan 28 (PTI) Amid protests that began in several cities after a video surfaced of an African-origin man allegedly being beaten to death by police in Memphis, US, President Joe Biden has said that He felt sad and angry after watching the video.
The video of the incident, which happened earlier this month, was released on Friday by the Memphis Police of Tennessee County. In the video, policemen are seen beating Tire Nicholls with punches, kicks and batons. Nichols died three days later in a hospital.
Social tensions rose across the country after the video surfaced. Demonstrations took place in several cities, including Memphis. Demonstrations in New York City were entirely peaceful. However, three protesters were arrested after a minor scuffle with the police.
The White House spoke to the mayors of several cities and called on them to calm the situation. These include Atlanta Mayor Aftab Pureval and Cleveland Mayor Justin Morris Bibb.
Relatives of Nichols have appealed to the people to hold peaceful demonstrations. His mother, Rowan Wells, said, “I don’t want our city to burn down, the streets to be vandalized, ….”
“If you people are here for me and for the tyres, then you will have a peaceful protest,” he said.
On the video, President Biden said, “Like many people, I was saddened and angry after watching the video of the beating that killed Tyr Nichols. It’s a reminder of the pain and suffering that black and white Americans face every day.”
According to The New York Times, the video is from January 7 and shows Memphis police beating 29-year-old Nichols as he vows to leave. He was on his way home at the time of the incident but was caught by the police for allegedly rash driving.
Video released by authorities showed five Memphis police officers restraining Nichols and hitting him with punches, shoes and sticks.
According to the daily’s report, he was beaten for about three minutes during which he made no attempt to fight back. The father of a four-year-old child died three days later in hospital. He used to work in ‘FedEx’ unit.
Vice President Kamala Harris also said that the issue of police misconduct and use of excessive force in America should end now. “We must build trust in our communities, not fear,” he said.
Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal said, “This is a brutal murder. This is not an isolated incident, but part of a pattern of police brutality that inflames our nation. Tire life matters. Justice must be done and accountability fixed.”
Five Memphis police officers have been fired. He has been charged with ‘second degree’ murder and arrested. In a statement, Memphis Police Chief Cerelin Davis called the incident “heinous, callous and inhumane.”