GLOBALink | Protesters shout "shame on this system" after deadly police beating in Memphis-Xinhua

GLOBALink | Protesters shout "shame on this system" after deadly police beating in Memphis

Source: Xinhua| 2023-01-30 14:40:34|Editor:

Protesters hit the streets in some U.S. cities following the release of footage Friday night showing a deadly police beating of an African American man.

The hour-long video captured several police officers beating Tyre Nichols, 29, during a traffic stop on Jan. 7 in Memphis, Tennessee, where they allegedly stopped him for reckless driving.

The officers pepper-sprayed and shocked Nichols with Taser while they can also be seen beating the motorist with a baton and kicking and punching him. Nichols, subdued, kept yelling "mom."

Nichols died three days later in a hospital after the confrontation due to cardiac arrest and kidney failure.

David Rausch, director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, told reporters on Friday that he saw the video before it was released to the public and found it "absolutely appalling."

"What happened here does not at all reflect proper policing. This was wrong. This was criminal," Rausch said.

Demonstrations have broken out in a series of cities, including Memphis, Washington, D.C., New York, Atlanta, and Los Angeles, over the police treatment of Nichols this weekend.

"Shame on this system," protesters chanted in downtown Washington, D.C., on Friday night.

U.S. President Joe Biden said in a statement that he was "outraged and deeply pained to see the horrific video of the beating that resulted in Tyre Nichols' death."

"It is yet another painful reminder of the profound fear and trauma, the pain, and the exhaustion that Black and Brown Americans experience every single day," Biden stressed.

The five officers involved in the death of Nichols were fired after an internal investigation and are facing criminal charges, including second-degree murder.

The incident came nearly three years after the police murder of 46-year-old African American man George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Floyd died on May 25, 2020, after an encounter with Minneapolis police, during which officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than nine minutes during a street arrest. Floyd's death sparked outrage and protests across the United States in the summer of 2020 against police brutality and systemic racism.

Police killed 1,186 people in the United States last year, according to Mapping Police Violence. African Americans were 26 percent of those killed by police in 2022 despite accounting for only 13 percent of the population.

Produced by Xinhua Global Service