Demonstrations, requires police reforms flood Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tennessee — Lots of of peaceable demonstrators, fueled by newly launched physique digital camera footage displaying the brutal beating of Tyre Nichols by cops, demanded justice, accountability and police reform Saturday afternoon.

Many within the crowd voiced their frustrations relating to an extended historical past of police violence towards residents, corruption and the necessity to disband a number of tactical items underneath the police division.

“Simply rising up right here, this isn’t actually new to us. It’s new to us being on this magnitude however this is a matter we’re uninterested in seeing,” stated protester George Brooks, 44, exterior one of many metropolis’s police stations the place greater than 200 folks had amassed. “We’re used to having points with police on this metropolis.”

Physique digital camera footage of Nichols being savagely crushed by Memphis officers on Jan. 7 was launched Friday night time, igniting protests throughout the U.S. He died three days later.

5 cops have been fired from the division and are going through second-degree homicide costs. Metropolis officers on Saturday introduced the disbanding of the year-old SCORPION unit,

Organizer Hunter Demster stated metropolis officers have met some protesters’ calls for resembling asserting on Saturday that the tactical unit Scorpion, which stands for Road Crimes Operation to Restore Peace in Our Neighborhoods, is being disbanded.

The high-profile anti-violence unit launched in November 2021 when the town’s homicide price was hovering and the group was calling for motion.

“Within the means of listening intently to the household of Tyre Nichols, group leaders, and the uninvolved officers who’ve achieved high quality work of their task, it’s in the very best curiosity of all to completely deactivate the SCORPION Unit,” the division stated in a press release Saturday.

Demster stated the choice was nice, however not adequate, insisting that the division’s gang and crime activity power additionally should be eliminated.

“Long run objectives, we’re gonna have sustained motion shutting down commerce and roads till precise coverage is handed,” he stated. “If a bunch is coming to the civic middle for a perform, we’re going to close it down. If the president of the USA is driving down the road, that’s the road we’re gonna shut down.”

He added, he needs folks to cease being killed by the hands of police along with huge police reform.

On the demonstration, many in attendance stated they have been fed up with an unjust and aggressive police power with an extended, native historical past of being corrupt.

For Memphis demonstrator Joshua Lewis, 18, he stated he wasn’t stunned by the actions of the officers who have been caught on digital camera beating Nichols.

“It angered me to see the video of Tyre however that is regular (in Memphis) and I really feel that it’s time for a change. We’ve been attempting to vary it for years,” he stated, including it begins with the police and ends with metropolis corridor.

“The corruption of the Memphis police and the dying of Tyre Nichols, we’re simply drained altogether. We’d like solutions as a result of after watching the video, I’ve extra questions,” stated demonstrator Rachel Spriggs, 38.

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