Protestors surround police car in NYC amid release of Tyre Nichols video

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Saturday, January 28, 2023
Protestors surround NYPD vehicle amid release of Tyre Nichols video
Demonstrators rallied in New York City Friday night following the release of body camera video depicting Memphis officers beating Tyre Nichols. CeFaan Kim has the details.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Demonstrators took to the streets in New York City Friday night, resulting in three arrests, following the release of body camera video depicting Memphis officers beating Tyre Nichols.

Protests were mostly peaceful, but emotions ran high. NewsCopter 7 was over a demonstration in Times Square where a protestor jumped on top of a police cruiser and smashed the windshield.

NewsCopter 7 captured video of a protestor jumping on to a police car before being arrested during a demonstration in New York City.

That person was arrested for criminal mischief to a police vehicle. Two other people were also arrested during the protests but it was unclear what for. Charges are pending.

There was a simmering anger that felt all too familiar. Once again, protesters spilled into the streets, fueled by fury after another Black man was killed by police.

"We want violence against Black people in the United States to be taken notice of and to be taken seriously," protestor Kei Kebreau said.

"No matter what the color of the cops it's somehow Black men, Black women who continue being murdered ruthlessly," said Karla Reyes of the Pary for Socialism and Liberation.

Demonstrators held up signs, chanting "What's his name? Tyre! Say his name. Tyre!"

They demonstrated at Grand Central Terminal and Union Square, and crisscrossed the city, eventually bringing the Crossroads of the World to a screeching halt.

As a result, the NYPD shutdown southbound vehicular traffic on Broadway from 48th Street to 42nd Street, and 46th Street was closed to vehicular traffic between Sixth and Eighth Avenue.

It came in response to Memphis authorities releasing more than an hour of footage Friday of the violent beating in which officers held the the 29-year-old Black motorist down and struck him repeatedly as he screamed for his mother.

The Tyre Nichols video was released by Memphis police Friday showing the brutal beating on bodycam footage. Josh Einiger has the latest details and what's to come.

Former NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce weighed in on the excessive force the officers used in the video.

"They're just needlessly pouring on this fellow, this pepper spray didn't make any sense to me at all," Boyce said. "It's just gonna come back at them. So these are so many mistakes made that I can see and someone should have grabbed a hold of this and said 'stop.' Didn't happen."

NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams said he won't watch the video.

He was in Times Square Friday night to ensure non-violent protestors were given the space they needed to channel their anger.

"There's a lot of pain. A lot of anger, rightfully so," Williams said. "I think here in New York we should try to figure out how we can be better."

ALSO WATCH | Tyre Nichols' family reacts to public police video release

Tyre Nichols' mother and stepfather sat down with ABC News to discuss the public release of the video showing five Memphis police officers beating their son during a traffic stop.

Meanwhile, Mayor Eric Adams and city officials said they would be ready for any potential protests ahead of the video's release.

In a statement, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said the department is prepared to protect the constitutional right to peaceful protest, while ensuring public safety:

"We will have an increased police presence over the next days to ensure that people who choose to are able to express themselves freely and safely," she said. "Our responsibility is to protect the constitutional right to peacefully assemble and protest. While we understand, appreciate, and share the high emotional charge of this tragedy, our Department will never tolerate violence, willful destruction, or any other criminality."

In Memphis, in the minutes after the release of the police video, demonstrators swiftly assembled with the message, "we ready, we ready for change."

Protests there remained mostly peaceful at the pleas of the Nichols family, but demonstrators, many with signs in hand, stretched out across Interstate 55, shut down the freeway and carried their demands with them.

Morgan Norwood has more on the demonstrations held across the U.S. following the release of body camera video depicting the police beating of Tyre Nichols.

Attorneys and family members who had already seen the video described it as a prolonged, brutal attack.

Adams said the release of the video is impacting him personally and professionally.

NYC Mayor Eric Adams gives an update on the city's preparations ahead of the anticipated release of the Tyre Nichols video.

"I think the Memphis police chief responded swiftly and I believe that New Yorkers should have the right to peacefully voice their concern over if the video is what we anticipate it to be," Adams said. "But it's a personal and professional painful moment for me as a victim of police abuse as a child. I know the impact of it and I know that the years I've spent recruiting, encouraging different groups to be part of the noble profession of policing."

Adams said it appears that the five officers tarnished the work that he and others attempted to accomplish.

"Our officers must follow the law and be held accountable for their actions. Otherwise, there is no law," he said. "We should be able to express our sorrow in our rage. But we must take all that pain and turn it into purpose.

The former officers, Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Justin Smith, Emmitt Martin and Desmond Mills Jr., have each been charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, two charges of aggravated kidnapping, two charges of official misconduct and one charge of official oppression.

The criminal charges come about three weeks after Nichols was hospitalized after a traffic stop and "confrontation" with Memphis police that family attorneys have called a savage beating.

Nichols died from his injuries on January 10, three days after the arrest, authorities said.


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