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By Miriam Raftery

Photos via Nichols family: Tyre Nichols, before the deadly altercation and in hospital, where he died of injuries sustained.

January 27, 2023 (San Diego) – Police departments across the nation are gearing up for potential protests with a video due for release tonight showing the killing of Tyre Nichols, a Black man, by five Memphis police officers, who are also Black. The officers have all been charged with second degree murder as well as aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression. All five officers have been fired and were booked into jail on Thursday.

Civil rights leaders and Nichols’ family are urging that protests stay peaceful as they seek justice following their son’s death.

An attorney for the Nichols family has said Nichols had been taking sunset photos and was on his way home when police made a traffic stop near his residence. Police indicated he was stopped for reckless driving and tried to flee, prompting an altercation.

“We can state that preliminary findings indicate Tyre suffered extensive bleeding caused by a severe beating, and that his observed injuries are consistent with what the family and attorneys witnessed on the video of his fatal encounter with police on January 7, 2023,” attorney Benjamin Crump said in a statement.

Nichols was reportedly struck with a stun gun and pepper spray, kicked and restrained. He had trouble breathing and was taken to a hospital, where he died. A hospital photo released by his family shows bruising and discoloration on his head and face.

Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn “CJ” Davis has called the officers’ actions “unconscionable.”

Photo, right: Officers charged with the murder of Tyre Nichols.

Reverend Al Sharpton, a nationally prominent civil rights leader, told the BBC the alleged crime was particularly painful because of the officers' race.  "We fought to put blacks on the police force," he said. "For them to act in such a brutal way is more egregious than I can tell you."

Reverend Shane Harris of San Diego, President of the People’s Association of Justice Advocates, a national civil rights organization, called the hospital photo “horrifying” and the officers’ actions “heinous,” also voicing prayers for the Nichols family and the Memphis community.

At a press conference, Harris stated, “I am applauding both the Shelby County District Attorney and the Memphis Police Chief on swift actions that demonstrate transparency and equal justice under the law.”

Harris urged, “People who want to exercise protest in  pursuit of justice for Tyre Nichols should do so but please do so peacefully. We urge citizens not to loot, riot or carry out any actions that have nothing to do with the pursuit of justice and distract the true purpose of exercising first amendment rights."

Photo, left: Rev. Shane Harris, People's Association of Justice Advocates, call for calm and pursuit of justice

Newly elected San Diego Sheriff Kelly Martinez has issued the following statement:

The Sheriff's Department sends its sincerest condolences to the family of Mr. Tyre Nichols. We condemn the actions of officers who act willfully and criminally in the performance of their duties. The amount of force, and lack of intervention by the officers is deeply troubling, upsetting, and unprofessional. The decision of the District Attorney to file criminal charges against the involved former officers and the actions of the Memphis Police Chief were swift and appropriate. We must now let the criminal justice system run its course.

While the actions of the former officers in this case are to be condemned, the hard work of the men and women of law enforcement at large in this country should be supported as they go about the business of protecting our communities every day. We are proud of the hard work and commitment of our deputies to our communities in San Diego County.

We support the public's rights to free speech and assembly. We encourage the peaceful gathering of our communities who want their voices heard and we will protect and respect your rights while we maintain peace in our communities.



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The few news reports I've seen are incomplete

because they don't reveal how a minor traffic pullover became a deadly police five-man mob action against this 29 year old FedEx driver. I use the word mob because (1) there was no need for more officers and (2) mob psychology (what I know of it) inspires groups of especially testosterone-laden males into foul behavior that wouldn't exist with one.