Photo: Drew Angerer / Staff via Getty Images
  /  01.29.2023

Police footage showing Tyre Nichols being viciously assaulted by Memphis officers has been met with backlash since its release on Friday (Jan. 27). Among those who have spoken out in disgust is Emerald Snipes-Garner, daughter of Eric Garner, who died in 2014 after a New York policeman held him in a chokehold.

Nearly 10 years later, Emerald said the footage of her father’s death, which she watched for the first time in 2019, is still triggering. The gut-wrenching recording of Nichols, 29, being beaten by five members of the Memphis police force reignited her frustrations with the justice system. During an appearance on NewsNation with anchor Chris Cuomo, she condemned the department’s handling of the release.

“You held the video — why? Why couldn’t the family get their closure at the moment that they needed it?” asked Emerald, who is one of Eric’s six children. She continued, “It had to be controlled by the system, like, ‘We’re going to hold it, and then we’re going to bring it out with the charges.’” Instead, Emerald said the department “held it like the premiere of a movie that needed to be watched by the world,” calling it a “public lynching.”

Filmmaker Bree Newsome Bass shared similar criticism. She tweeted, “The way they’ve spent days [and] hours emphasizing the violence of Tyre Nichols’ murder like it’s a countdown to a movie release tells you everything about the depravity of the system we live under.”

Segments of the recordings, which, in total, run for over an hour, have been shown in loops in the media and re-shared countless times across social media. However, by Saturday (Jan. 28) afternoon, a quiet movement to highlight Nichols‘ humanity emerged. A video of him skateboarding began to make the rounds as people focused their attention on his love for the sport, sunsets and photography.

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