Massive protests have begun in Memphis Friday night following the release of the Tyre Nichols bodycam footage as cities around the country brace for violent riots.
Demonstrators were shutting down highways just outside the city while chanting: ‘Say his name – Tyre Nichols.’
Protests have already begun in cities including New York, Washington and Atlanta.
Antifa has issued a call to arms for protestors to light up New York City on Friday night.
Massive protests have begun in Memphis Friday night following the release of the Tyre Nichols bodycam footage as cities around the country brace for violent riots
A poster shows the group calling upon demonstrators to gather at various locations in the Big Apple and ‘Burn It All Down’.
Cities across America are anticipating widespread protests following the release of the distressing footage.
Federal employees in Memphis and Portland have been told to go home early, and workers have begun boarding up buildings. The mayor of New York City on Friday evening urged protesters to remain peaceful, and NYPD has made extensive preparations, including asking officers to stay on and work overtime when their shift finishes on Friday.
Protesters march down the street Friday in Memphis following the release of the video of Tyre Nichols’ deadly interaction with police
Nichols’ death resulted in murder charges and provoked outrage at the country’s latest instance of police brutality
Demonstrators were shutting down highways just outside the city while chanting: ‘Say his name – Tyre Nichols’
Protesters rally against the the fatal police assault of Tyre Nichols in Washington
Protesters gather in Lafayette Park outside the White House in Washington
A security guard looks out of a window as protesters project an image of Tyre Nichols
Left wing activists carry a banner during a protest on the day of the release in New York City’s Times Square
The protesters often espoused left wing causes in addition to calls for racial justice, with one of the marchers holding up a sign for the the Party for Socialism and Liberation.
Another read: ‘Defund the police? Smash the capitalist state through workers’ revolution.’
Still another called the courts, officers and the justice system a product of ‘bosses’ and the need for a ‘workers’ government.’
In downtown Atlanta, marchers used the protest as a chance to advocate for the end to ‘Cop City,’ a $90million Atlanta Public Safety Training Centre.
The protesters often espoused left wing causes in addition to calls for racial justice, with one of the marchers holding up a sign for the the Party for Socialism and Liberation
Another read: ‘Defund the police? Smash the capitalist state through workers’ revolution’
In downtown Atlanta, marchers used the protest as a chance to advocate for the end to ‘Cop City,’ a $90million Atlanta Public Safety Training Centre
The Nichols family has urged those angered by the footage to remain calm, emphasizing that they support the judicial process and approve of the firing of the five officers. They have stressed that Nichols himself would have hated to see rioting in his name.
Joe Biden on Friday night said he hopes the family’s wishes are respected.
‘Let the courts make the judgement,’ he said, adding that protests must remain peaceful.
Yet Antifa is expected to take advantage of the chaos, with the group ordering followers to bring a list of weapons including rocks, kerosene and pipes.
Tyre Nichols, 29, was beaten like a ‘human piñata’ by five Memphis, Tennessee, police officers on January 7 and died three days later in the hospital from kidney failure and cardiac arrest
An image of Tyre Nichols is displayed on a building in Washington DC as people gather to protest over his death on Friday night
Businesses in multiple cities have been boarded up in anticipation for the release of the shocking footage
Federal buildings in Memphis and Portland have been evacuated and businesses are being boarded up ahead of the potential violence and looting
Workers are seen boarding up buildings ahead of expected protests
Federal buildings are being evacuated ahead of the riots, while businesses in Memphis and Portland are already boarded up to protect from the expected looting.
Ahead of Antifa taking to the streets, New York City mayor Eric Adams urged people to ‘peacefully voice their concern if the video is what we anticipate it to be’.
The NYPD is telling officers to stay on duty rather than clock off on Friday when their shifts end due to ‘robust protests’, which are expected once the tape is released.
‘They want them on standby,’ a source told NY Daily News.
Adams on Friday condemned the five officers, saying they ‘make it harder’ for all decent police officers.
He praised the Memphis police chief for her swift firing of the five, and praised prosecutors for charging them.
‘We should be able to express our sorrow and our rage, but we must take all that pain and turn it into purpose,’ he said.
‘My message to New Yorkers is to respect the wishes of Mr Nichols’s mother. If you need to protest, do it peacefully.’
Antifa on Friday urged protesters to bring knives, pipes, kerosene and lighters to riot in New York City
Ryan Kellum, center, and Ricky Noe install plywood boards over windows at Caliber Collision in Memphis on Friday
Eric Adams, mayor of New York City and a former police officer, said he was horrified by the actions of the five Memphis police, and urged protesters to stay calm
Joe Biden on Friday night urged protesters to remain calm and show their anger in a peaceful manner
Government officials are calling for peace ahead of what could be a night of mayhem, while Georgia’s governor, Brian Kemp, has activated 1,000 National Guard troops.
‘We are closely monitoring the events in Memphis and are prepared to support peaceful protests in our city,’ Atlanta police told CBS News. ‘We understand and share in the outrage surrounding the death of Tyre Nichols.
‘Police officers are expected to conduct themselves in a compassionate, competent, and constitutional manner and these officers failed Tyre, their communities and their profession. We ask that demonstrations be safe and peaceful.’
The governor’s emergency order said the state ‘respects peaceful protests, but do not tolerate acts of violence against persons or property.’
Over the weekend, masked protesters threw rocks, launched fireworks, and burned a police vehicle outside the Atlanta Police Federation building after activist Manuel Esteban Paez Teran, who is reportedly apart of far-left group Antifa, was shot and killed during a protest against a new police training facility in Atlanta, according to Fox News.
Protesters had dubbed Atlanta ‘cop city’ and called for a ‘night of rage’ after the police-involved incident.
The police bodycam footage has been described as ‘worse than Rodney King’, and its release is expected to ignite widespread outrage across the nation.
Nichols, 29, was beaten like a ‘human piñata,’ the family lawyer said, by five Memphis police officers, who were all African American, on January 7.
He died three days later in the hospital from kidney failure and cardiac arrest.
Ben Crump, the attorney representing the Nichols, is seen on Friday addressing a press conference beside Nichols’s weeping mother
RowVaughn Wells, the mother of Tyre Nichols, is comforted by relatives during Friday’s press conference
Footage of the moment Nichols was beaten by the police is predicted to kick Antifa into action, as the group’s call to arms orders rioters to ‘wear all black’ and ‘cover your face’.
Nichols’s mother RowVaughn Wells urged those gathered at a memorial for her son on Thursday night to protest peacefully.
‘When that tape comes out tomorrow, it’s going to be horrific,’ Wells told the crowd.
‘I didn’t see it, but from what I hear, it’s going to be horrific. But I want each and every one of you to protest in peace.
‘I don’t want us burning up our cities, tearing up the streets, because that’s not what my son stood for,’ she said.
‘And if you guys are here for me and Tyre, then you will protest peacefully. You can get your point across, but we don’t need to tear up our cities, people, because we do have to live in them.’
All the officers, who were hired between 2017 and 2020, and face multiple charges, including second-degree murder (pictured L-R: Emmitt Martin III and Justin Smith)
Washington DC is also on high alert ahead of the demonstrations, with President Biden urging the nation to be calm ahead of the footage’s release.
The president said Nichols’s death is a ‘painful reminder’ that the U.S. justice system has seen many ‘fatal encounters with law enforcement [that] have disparately impacted black and brown people.’
‘To deliver real change, we must have accountability when law enforcement officers violate their oaths, and we need to build lasting trust between law enforcement, the vast majority of whom wear the badge honorably, and the communities they are sworn to serve and protect,’ the president said.
‘As Americans grieve, the Department of Justice conducts its investigation, and state authorities continue their work, I join Tyre’s family in calling for peaceful protest.
The bodycam footage of his January 7 interaction with five Memphis police officers will be released tonight at 7pm on the department’s YouTube page
‘Outrage is understandable, but violence is never acceptable. Violence is destructive and against the law. It has no place in peaceful protests seeking justice.’
The five officers who beat Nichols on the footage have been named as Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills, Jr. and Justin Smith.
The group have been charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, two counts of aggravated kidnapping, two counts of official misconduct, and official oppression.
Four out of the five have been released from custody on a combined $1million bond.
Authorities had withheld the bodycam footage since the attack due to fears that it will spark protests.
The footage, which has been viewed by some of the family, shows Nichols being shocked, pepper sprayed, and restrained.
The 29-year-old FedEx worker moved to Memphis from California in February 2020 after his friends convinced him to start fresh.
He was pulled over in his car, minutes away from his home.
TIMELINE OF EVENTS IN NICHOLS’ DEATH
January 7: Police pull over Tyre Nichols on suspicion of reckless driving at 8.30pm. Tyre fled on foot after a ‘confrontation’ but was apprehended by cops soon after.
An ambulance was called to the scene after Tyre complained of shortness of breath, and was transferred to hospital in a critical condition.
January 10: Three days after the stop Tyre, 29, died from his injuries sustained in the incident. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation announced that they were looking into his death.
January 15: Five officers are relieved of duty while the investigation into their use of force continues. Preliminary findings indicate the serious nature of the offences. All of the officers were given a notice regarding the impeding administrative actions.
January 18: The Department of Justice announces that a civil rights investigation has been opened into the death of Tyre.
January 20: Memphis Police Department identifies, and fires five offices involved in the traffic stop, due to their violation of multiple department polices.
Officers Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills, Jr, and Justin Smith’s jobs were terminated for failing in their ‘excessive use of force, duty to intervene, and duty to render aid’.
Two Memphis Fire Department employees who were part of Nichols’ ‘initial patient care’ were also fired.
January 23: The family of Tyre Nichols and their attorney, Ben Crump, view the footage of his arrest for the first time. Crump compares it to the assault of Rodney King by LAPD officers in 1991.
January 26: All five officers are charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, two charges of aggravated kidnapping, two charges of official misconduct and one charge of official oppression.
January 27: Four of the former officers each paid bond of $250,000 each to be released after their arrest.
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