Photo: Brian Stukes / Contributor via Getty Images
  /  01.28.2023

The Rev. Al Sharpton has called for five former Memphis police officers to be convicted in connection with the death of Tyre Nichols.

As previously reported, Nichols was on his way home when law enforcement stopped him for an alleged traffic violation. The beloved 29-year-old was subsequently pulled from his vehicle and mercilessly beaten, kicked, tased and pinned to the ground by the five men. Once handcuffed, he sat slumped over and struggled to breathe. The Sacramento native was eventually transported to St. Francis Hospital in critical condition, where he died days later.

On Friday (Jan. 27), the Memphis Police Department released bodycam and surveillance footage to the public. In a statement released online today (Jan. 28), Sharpton said, “This video should be all a jury needs to convict each of the five officers who relentlessly beat Tyre Nichols to death. Justice needs to be delivered to Tyre and his family. I don’t think anyone who could stomach getting through this footage would disagree.”

The civil rights activist also spoke at a rally held at the House of Justice in Harlem this morning, where he reflected on the 1991 beating of Rodney King. “Here I am now in 2023, and I’m looking at another video, this [one] in color, where I’m seeing another Black man being beat to death. Rodney didn’t die. This is worse. It’s beat to death with no mercy on no crime that they can even find that he had committed.”

Sharpton noted that the heinous incident was made more egregious by the fact that the former officers are all Black. “Did you think ‘cause you was Black, we wouldn’t say nothing? Did you think you would hide behind your blackness? I wanna say loud and clear that we will fight Black cops, white cops, any color cops that commit crimes against us!”

Following the completion of an internal investigation, Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr., and Justin Smith were fired. They have since been charged with second-degree murder, assault, and kidnapping.




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