KIRO NEWSRADIO OPINION
Mother of man killed by police ‘urging people to protest peacefully’
Tyre Nichols died after a traffic stop in Memphis turned violent in early January, and the body camera footage of the police allegedly beating Nichols has now been released.
Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man, was hospitalized after the incident Jan. 7 and died from his injuries three days later.
The five Memphis Police Department officers, who are all Black, were fired and have been indicted on charges of second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct, and official oppression.
On the Gee & Ursula Show, hosts Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin discussed the news of yet another instance of fatal police brutality and the possibility of protests in Seattle.
“I don’t want to see the video. I don’t even like talking about this topic. Because this topic hurts, hurts from so many different angles. I have a view of law enforcement that I believe is different than most,” Gee said. “I have a different view because I grew up around law enforcement. There are some awful police officers that exist out here. Meanwhile, there are amazing police officers that exist out here. But the problem is these five Black police officers that did this crime.”
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The body camera footage from the officers was released by the Memphis Police Department Friday afternoon, and according to those that watched the video, the incident was “an unadulterated, unabashed, nonstop beating.”
Despite efforts across the country to reform the police after nationwide protests following the 2020 murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, Ursula asks how incidents like this continue.
“I just wonder, given everything that we have gone through as a country and everything that has happened recently, it’s like, how can something like this still happen?” Ursula asked. “And we’re going to see the video which people who have seen it [have] said, it’s equal, if not worse than the Rodney King beating, so be prepared for that.”
In the wake of the 2020 protests, the Seattle Police Department faced challenges, including the evacuation of the East Precinct and months of clashes with protestors. According to a spokesperson with the department, they are preparing for a similar reaction Friday night and over the weekend once the video is released.
“The Seattle Police Department is planning, preparing, and staffing to provide public safety throughout the city should police resources be needed,” an SPD spokesperson said in a statement to KIRO Newsradio.
Ursula offered her condolences to Nichols’ family and the wider community in light of another tragedy.
“I feel horrible for, obviously, the young man who is no longer alive. I feel horrible for his mother, who, by the way, is begging and is urging people to protest peacefully.”
The FBI and the Department of Justice have opened a civil rights investigation into Nichols’ death.
Listen to Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.