President Biden spoke with the Nichols family on Friday and later pronunciation said he was, “like so many others”, “furious and deeply hurt to see the horrific video”, calling it another “reminder of the deep anguish and trauma, pain and exhaustion black and brown Americans experience every day experienced .”
Biden urged Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which aims to curb police misconduct, and called for “a prompt, full and transparent investigation.”
Speaking to reporters on the White House grounds before departing on Marine One, he added that Nichols’ death was also about America’s “image” and “has a lot to do with whether we want to leave the country are that we say we are’.
Timeline: Videos show Tire Nichols waiting for an ambulance for 22 minutes
Vice President Harris complained that “America once again mourns a life brutally cut short by those sworn to protect and serve.”
Several Republican and Democratic politicians also expressed their anger.
Senator Mitt Romney (R Utah) tweeted that he couldn’t bring himself to watch the video, but had read descriptions, adding “we are sad and we hurt for Tire’s family and loved ones.” Senator Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) said he was deeply disturbed by the video, while fellow Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) described the video as “difficult to watch”.
Video shows Memphis police brutally beating Tire Nichols
New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D), a former police officer, said he was “devastated” and “outraged”. “As someone who has spent decades fighting for police diversity and against police abuse, I feel betrayed,” he said.
“Tyre Nichols should be alive today”, said California Governor Gavin Newsom (D), who noted in a separate statement that Nichols was a resident of Sacramento, while Senator Cory Booker (DN.J.) said the images released brought “pain, horror and terror”.
Activists also spoke out.
Lora Dene King, a daughter of Rodney King, whose assault by the Los Angeles Police Department in 1991 was also videotaped and sparked widespread protests, urged people to use their voices to peacefully push for change. King said the police had behaved “sickly”, noting that the police had treated her father “the same way”.
Martin Luther King III, the eldest son of the civil rights activist, said he was “deeply disturbed by the video” and labeled it a “heinous but perversely known act committed by law enforcement officers.”
Advocacy groups, meanwhile, viewed Nichols’ death as indicative of wider, structural problems in the police force.
Amnesty International USA said the video showed “truly abhorrent, horrific, violent and vexatious acts of inhumanity” and called on the Memphis Police Department not to view the event as an isolated act of individuals, but to “acknowledge this as a systemic problem”.
Human Rights Watch said: “Despite the 2020 global uprising against police brutality and systemic racism, spurred by the police killing of George Floyd, police killed 1,186 people in 2022 — more than any other year in the past decade.”
Tributes and messages of support were also expressed in the sports world.
Memphis Grizzlies basketball coach Taylor Jenkins told reporters, “I cried,” after watching an interview with Nichols’ mother, RowVaughn Wells.
The NBA also has one pronunciation of support for Nichols’ family, while basketball star LeBron James chose it part a cheerful montage video of Nichols, an avid skateboarder, happily skating.
Nichols family lawyer says Tire Nichols was a ‘human piñata’ to police
Law enforcement leaders from around the country, including in Los Angeles and chicago, have expressed their horror at the actions of the Memphis police officers, calling the violence “reprehensible” and “horrific”.
“The outrageous actions depicted in the released video are a clear violation of our oath to protect those we serve, and a failure of human decency,” New York City Police Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell said in a statement. statement.
Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia also condemned the former officers’ actions, saying they do not represent “the thousands of honorable police officers in this country.”
In Memphis, Nichols’ friends and protesters chanted “Justice for Tire!” Thursday at a skate park to honor the 29-year-old father of a child. On Friday, peaceful protesters in the city closed the bridge over the Mississippi River, briefly blocking traffic on Interstate 55, to demand justice for Nichols and an end to “police terror.”
Many protesters told The Washington Post that they would not watch the police video.
“I don’t have to watch the video to know what happened to him,” said Amber Sherman, a member of Black Lives Matter’s Memphis chapter. “I can see the picture of him in the hospital and know he was brutally murdered.”
Tire Nichols remembered as “a wonderful son” who loved ice skating and sunsets
Nichols’ death has resonated widely, both for the brutality of the beating and the poignant nature of the video, which shows him crying out for his mother, a short distance from home.
However, Nichols’ mother hopes to heed her son’s pleas and told Biden that her son’s death would serve as a call to action.
“My son will get some good out of this,” said Wells, “because he was a beautiful soul.”
Robert Klemko, Emily Davies, Mark Berman, Justine McDaniel, Luis Velarde, and Dan Rosenzweig-Ziff contributed to this report.