Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin and Birmingham Police Department (BPD) Chief Scott Thurmond both weighed in on the death of Tyre Nichols by several police officers in Memphis on January 7.
Recently released body camera footage showed Memphis Police officers severely beating Nichols, who died of his injuries.
According to reports, officers pulled Nichols over due to reckless driving, but a confrontation occurred. Nichols attempted to run away from the officers, but five officers held him down and struck him repeatedly. Meanwhile, Nichols screamed for his mother.
All the officers have been fired and now face charges of second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression.
Thurmond extended his department's condolences to Nichols's family and said that the BPD will hold its officers to "a higher standard of displaying our commitment to excellence and integrity in every situation that our officers are placed in."
"Anytime a tragic incident occurs such as this, all law enforcement agencies are hurt because of the shame that is now brought upon our profession," Thurmond said. "As police officers, we all take an oath and should hold ourselves accountable for our actions."
"We do not condone the actions that these former officers took and will remain firm in our stance that as a department, we will follow and uphold a true moral compass in all our actions," he continued.
Woodfin took to social media on Friday. On Facebook, he said the video of Nichols was "chilling."
"It's a blatant, horrifying display of the evils of police brutality," he said. "This vicious cruelty must not be our norm. Our country demands police reform. His family deserves justice."
In another post, he said that Nichols's cries for his mother "has me literally sick to my stomach."
He went into further detail on Twitter.
"There's a lot to unpack and lots of unanswered questions in the murder of Tyre Nichols by five Memphis police officers," Woodfin said. "But my mind is currently on one person – his mother. No parent should have to witness their child be brutalized in such a horrific manner."
There’s a lot to unpack and lots of unanswered questions in the murder of Tyre Nichols by five Memphis police officers.— Randall Woodfin (@randallwoodfin) January 27, 2023
But my mind is currently on one person – his mother. No parent should have to witness their child be brutalized in such a horrific manner.
Everyone involved in the incident was black. Nevertheless, some left-wing media outlets, such as CNN, have suggested that the kill "might still have been driven by racism."
According to reports, Shelby County, Tenn., Sheriff Floyd Bonner, Jr. launched an internal investigation about the incident after the video's release.
Several cities around the country prepared for violent riots on Friday night, some bringing in the National Guard. Georgia Gov. Bryan Kemp even declared a state of emergency.
Several protests merely blocked traffic, whereas some protesters in Los Angeles turned riotous and tore down a protective barricade around the Los Angeles Police Department headquarters. Someone spray-painted the word "kills" on the building wall.
According to the Los Angeles Times, others could be heard screaming, "kill cops," and "how does it feel to be afraid for your life?"
On the other side of the country, one man in Times Square stomped on the windshield of an NYPD police cruiser, according to the New York Post.
The Post also reported that the co-founder of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York Hawk Newsome advocated for violence at another protest in New York City, stating that "we ain't never taking violence off of the f**cking table."
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