Protests break out after release of Tyre Nichols’ body camera footage

(NewsNation) — Protests spread across the country after body camera footage was released showing the beating of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols in Memphis.

The Memphis Police Department released four videos of the arrest; three from body-worn cameras and one from a street surveillance camera.

Protesters gathered in a park near the White House in D.C., in Memphis, Tennessee, and in other cities as the video was released.

In Memphis, the scene was peaceful. Dozens of protesters chanted, “Say his name! Tyre Nichols!” and several dozen protesters blocked a heavily traveled bridge on Interstate 55 that is one of two main spans connecting Arkansas and Tennessee over the Mississippi River.

On protester in Memphis said she joined the protest because she had known about previous cases of police brutality that weren’t addressed. She marched, she said, to blow of steam and remove some of the hatred she felt over this case.

In New York, there were some clashes with police. In Times Square, one person jumped on top of a police cruiser and shattered the window. Others push and shoved police while they took some protesters into custody.

Other protests cropped up in cities across the country, including Chicago.

Nichols died three days after the Jan. 7 traffic stop. Five Memphis police officers involved in the incident now face criminal charges.

The police chief in Memphis warned the footage in the body camera video would likely spark outrage, and asked for protesters to remain peaceful. Nichols’ family echoed those comments.

“We want peaceful protests, that is what the family wants,” said Nichols’ stepfather, Rodney Wells. “We need to do this peacefully.”

From the White House, President Joe Biden was also preparing for demonstrations Friday night. He said in a statement, “Outrage is understandable, but violence is never acceptable. Violence is destructive and against the law. It has no place in peaceful protests seeking justice.”

In Georgia, where protests over the construction of a police training facility turned violent, 1,000 National Guard members are ready for deployment if needed.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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