Thousands of protesters are expected to gather in Oakland, California, for one of several demonstrations and vigils scheduled across the nation Sunday, two days after the release of video showing Tyre Nichols being fatally beaten by Memphis police.
Cat Brooks, executive director of the Anti-Police Terror Project in Oakland, said she is tired of marching but can’t stop advocating for her people.
“Black men calling for they mamas as they head to graves come too soon at the hands of the devil the mama always feared was coming for her baby,” she said in a Twitter post.
In Milwaukee, Peace Action Wisconsin was among groups sponsoring a march from Red Arrow Park to a local police precinct.
“The body cam footage is horrific and unwatchable,” the group says on its website. “We are demanding justice for Nichols and all victims of police violence. We are demanding accountability and transparency from the police.”
VIDEO SHOWS VIOLENT BEATING OF TYRE NICHOLS:He died three days later
►Other vigils and protests include events in New Haven, Connecticut; West Chester, Pennsylvania; Springfield, Missouri; Stockton, California; and Anchorage, Alaska.
►The University of Memphis will resume normal hours on Sunday after shutting down “until further notice” in a response to release of video footage.
►The funeral for Nichols will be held Wednesday at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church in Memphis.
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What happened to Tyre Nichols?
Memphis police officers pulled Nichols, 29, over for a traffic stop Jan. 7. The initial police report said only that a “confrontation” occurred, that Nichols fled on foot, and that another confrontation then occurred. The report said Nichols then complained of shortness of breath.
Nichols was hospitalized in critical condition that night. Three days later he died.
Federal investigators opened a civil rights investigation Jan. 18. The officers were fired Jan. 20 and charged with murder and other related crimes.
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump applauded the Memphis police chief and county prosecutors for the quick response, calling their efforts “blueprint going forward.”
Video released of brutal beating
Video released from from body-worn and utility poll cameras show officers pepper-spraying, kicking, punching and hitting Nichols while he was restrained, bashing him with a baton and shooting him with a Taser. Nichols cried out for his mother and to be allowed to go to his nearby home. Finally, he lay propped up against the side of a police car motionless while officers milled around him. More than 20 minutes later, an ambulance arrived.
Memphis Police Chief C.J. Davis called the incident “heinous, reckless and inhumane.”
Memphis disbands SCORPION police unit
The five officers charged in Nichols’ death are members of SCORPION, or Street Crimes Operation to Restore Peace in Our Neighborhoods, the department confirmed. Antonio Romanucci, lawyer for the Nichols family, said SCORPION and other specialized police units target the “most vulnerable” and should be disbanded.
“These are suppression units,” he said. “And what they do is they wind up oppressing the people that we care about the most – our children, our young sons and daughters who are Black and Brown.”
On Saturday, the unit was banded.
Story Credit: usatoday.com