Barack and Michelle Obama called out the “vicious, unjustified” murder of Tyre Nichols after brutal body-cam footage showed the horrific beating of Nichols at the hands of Memphis cops.
“The vicious, unjustified beating of Tyre Nichols and his ultimate death at the hands of five Memphis police officers is just the latest, painful reminder of how far America still has to go in fixing how we police our streets,” the couple said in a dual Twitter statement Saturday.
Five Memphis police officers have been fired and charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression following the assault of Nichols.
Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr., and Justin Smith, were arrested on Thursday.
Civil rights activist Al Sharpton said the cops—who were all Black— “disgrace our race” at a rally in Harlem Saturday as groups across the nation protest against police brutality.
Sharpton said violence on Black people by cops has hit a “critical point” as he advocated for federal policing laws.“I want to say loud and clear that we will fight black cops, white cops, any color cops that commit crimes against us, ” Sharpton said.
Sharpton went on to say the cops wouldn’t have assaulted a white man the way they assaulted Nichols, who was not only beaten, but pepper-sprayed and tasered, according to the footage.
“You know you couldn’t get away with doing that in Tennessee to a white guy. You’ll find out you ain’t getting away with it doing it to a black guy,” he added.
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