Everybody is upset about Tyre Nichols’ “vicious and violent and hard to believe” death by alleged beating while in police custody, including former President Donald Trump.
“I thought it was terrible. He was in such trouble. He was just being pummeled. Now that should never have happened,” he told the Associated Press on Saturday.
He added that the moment that Nichols was seen in bodycam/surveillance footage calling out for his now-grieving mother was “very sad.”
“That was really the point that got me the most, to be honest with you,” he said.
He continued by expressing gratitude for the Memphis Police Department’s decision to take the “strong step” of disbanding the specific police unit that was involved in Nichols’ unnecessary death.
Other top political figures have also expressed similar sentiments, including current President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama, though the latter also tried to fundraise off of the tragedy:
The vicious, unjustified beating of Tyre Nichols and his ultimate death at the hands of five Memphis police officers is just the latest, painful reminder of how far America still has to go in fixing how we police our streets. pic.twitter.com/ITmrNNJhiT
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) January 28, 2023
Along with mourning Tyre and supporting his family, it’s up to all of us to mobilize for lasting change. To learn more about how communities can reimagine public safety to prevent both crime and injustice, go to https://t.co/I39Nsel4vs.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) January 28, 2023
My heart goes out to Tyre Nichols’ family and to Americans in Memphis and across the country who are grieving this tremendously painful loss. There are no words to describe the heartbreak and grief of losing a beloved child and young father.⁰⁰Here’s my full statement. pic.twitter.com/ghROhSGtao
— President Biden (@POTUS) January 28, 2023
Trump, to his credit, has not tried to fundraise off of Nichols’ death.
The former president’s remarks to the AP were made a day after both bodycam and surveillance footage of Nichols’ arrest and savage beating were publicly released.
As previously reported, the footage clearly showed the involved officers repeatedly bashing an unarmed, handcuffed Nichols — first in the body with a baton, and later right in the face with brutal, loud punches to the face.
The beating occurred on Jan. 7th after the officers stopped Nichols on the road due to alleged reckless driving.
“As officers approached the driver of the vehicle, a confrontation occurred, and the suspect fled the scene on foot. Officers pursued the suspect and again attempted to take the suspect into custody. While attempting to take the suspect into custody, another confrontation occurred; however, the suspect was ultimately apprehended,” police reportedly said at the time.
It was during the second confrontation that the beating occurred.
GRAPHIC VIDEO WARNING:
Here is an elevated view of the Tyree Nichols beating by Memphis Police.
You can see one officer using a baton then other officers kicking him and punching even after he’s handcuffed. pic.twitter.com/Em0qfFtwHB
— Sergio Quintana (@svqjournalist) January 28, 2023
The police later changed their story and admitted that they don’t actually have proof that Nichols had been driving recklessly.
“I’m going to be honest with you about the stop itself. What was said was there was witnessing of what was considered reckless driving. We’ve looked at cameras. We’ve looked at body worn cameras. Even if something occurred prior to this stop, we’ve been unable to substantiate it,” Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis told CNN on Friday.
“We’ve taken a pretty extensive look to determine what that probable cause was and we have not been able to substantiate that. It doesn’t mean that something didn’t happen, but there’s no proof,” she added.
Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis says the department has not been able to substantiate the probable cause for reckless driving with regards to the violent arrest of Tyre Nichols https://t.co/4aKiZdLlEi pic.twitter.com/Wt99D52vsu
— CNN (@CNN) January 27, 2023
Trump’s remarks to the AP also came a day after the officers involved in Nichols’ death were all charged.
“The former officers, Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Justin Smith, Emmitt Martin and Desmond Mills Jr., have each been charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, two charges of aggravated kidnapping, two charges of official misconduct and one charge of official oppression,” CNN reported.
Nichols’ death has received bipartisan coverage largely because it appears to be an rare example of genuine police brutality, different from the countless other cases where the police were “completely justified” in the tough but fair actions they took.
“Look, the tape was perhaps not totally conclusive but, to me, it was pretty conclusive and it was vicious and violent and hard to believe — over a traffic violation,” Trump added in his remarks to the AP, stressing how obvious the brutality inflicted on Nichols happened to be.
Republished with permission from American Wire News Service
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