Calls for calm as protests are planned nationwide over Tyre Nichols bodycam ... trends now
Government officials are calling for calm ahead of the planned nationwide protests over the Tyre Nichols bodycam footage, which will be released tonight, as the Georgia governor activated 1,000 National Guard troops and Capitol Hill amped up security.
Many cities, including Memphis and New York City, are gearing up to protest after the gruesome footage, which has been described as worse than Rodney King, on the Memphis Police Department's YouTube page at 7pm.
Nichols, 29, was brutally beaten like a 'human piñata' by five Memphis, Tennessee, police officers, who were all African American, on January 7 and died three days later in the hospital from kidney failure and cardiac arrest.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, 59, has declared a state of emergency until Tuesday, February 9. Kemp called in the National Guard following an anti-cop protest last weekend in Atlanta after an environmental activist died and said Georgia is 'closely monitoring the events in Memphis.'
Capitol Hill also amped up security in anticipation of widespread protests. President Joe Biden, 80, has called for calm ahead of the video release and said Nichols' death is a 'painful reminder' that the US' justice system has seen many 'fatal encounters with law enforcement [that] have disparately impacted black and brown people.'
Tyre Nichols, 29, was brutally beaten like a 'human piñata' by five Memphis, Tennessee, police officers , who were all African American, on January 7 and died three days later in the hospital from kidney failure and cardiac arrest
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
'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 president continued. 'Outrage is understandable, but violence is never acceptable. Violence is destructive and against the law. It has no place in peaceful protests seeking justice.'
New York City Mayor Eric Adams, 62, encouraged New Yorkers to 'peacefully voice their concern if the video is what we anticipate it to be.' A gathering in Times Square called Justice for Tyre Nichols has already been scheduled for 7pm, Adams said.
The five officers - Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills, Jr. and Justin Smith - 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 also been released from custody on a combined $1million bond.
The bodycam footage has been withheld since the attack to ensure justice and over fears widespread riots will start. The footage, which has been viewed by the family, shows Nichols being shocked, pepper sprayed, and restrained after the 29-year-old FedEx worker was pulled over minutes away from his home.
Family members and activists are already warning to not let children watch the bodycam footage when it is released as it is 'absolutely appalling,' according to Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director David Rausch.
Protests are expected to take place after the footage will be released, which Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis said was the worst footage she's ever witnessed in her career and that it worse than Rodney King, who was beaten by the LAPD in 1991.
Ahead of its release, several government officials have called for calm and peaceful protests. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, 59, (pictured) declared a statement of emergency until February 9 after Atlanta experienced an anti-cop protest last week and could experience more following the Nichols video
President Joe Biden, 80, (pictured) also also called for calm and said Nichols' death is a 'painful reminder' that the US' justice system has seen many 'fatal encounters with law enforcement [that] have disparately impacted black and brown people'
Capitol Hill (pictured) has also amped up security as the nation braces for several protests
'We are going to see acts that defy humanity, a disregard for life, duty of care and a level of physical interaction that is above and beyond what is required in law enforcement,' King said on Friday morning.
As national unrest could break out, Georgia and Capitol Hill have ramped up security measures to protect its citizens.
'We are closely monitoring