(NewsNation) — The police beating of Tyre Nichols is reminiscent of the infamous 1991 police beating of Los Angeles motorist Rodney King, King’s attorney said Friday.
Four white Los Angeles Police Department officers beat King, a Black man, on March 3, 1991. King survived the beating, but “psychologically, he never recovered from the beating that he took,” said John Burris, a civil rights attorney who represented King.
“The beating itself, although he didn’t die, he died in many ways… He died in an emotional way as opposed to physically,” Burris told host Ashleigh Banfield Friday night on “Banfield.”
Authorities on Friday released body camera footage of Nichols’ arrest, which showed five Memphis police officers beating the 29-year-old Black FedEx driver as he called out for his mother during an arrest earlier this month.
The officers, all of whom are Black, were charged Thursday with murder and other crimes in the killing of Nichols, a motorist who died three days after the Jan. 7 altercation with the officers that occurred during a traffic stop.
King’s case started a national conversation about racism and police brutality in America. Burris said he imagines people will “erupt” all over the country if the officers in the Nichols case are found not guilty.
“If the system works, there won’t be rioting. But if it doesn’t work, and they’re found not guilty, yes you could still have the rush we had in the Rodney King case,” Burris said.