Three weeks after the violent death of African American Tire Nichols at a traffic stop in Memphis, the police have dissolved a special unit involved in the case. This step is “in everyone’s best interest,” said the police in the US city. The members of the special unit “agreed unreservedly” to the decision.
Nichols’ family supported the dismantling of the task force set up in 2021 to combat illegal activities in high-crime neighborhoods.
Video footage of the operation against Tire Nichols
Tire Nichols’ death has been causing outrage in the United States for days. Five police officers – all African American like the victim – were arrested and charged. They are suspected of beating 29-year-old Nichols to death during a traffic stop on January 7. The five suspects all belonged to the now dissolved special unit.
They are charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault and kidnapping, among other things. Second-degree murder is an intermediate stage between murder and manslaughter in the state of Tennessee, where Memphis is located. Kidnapping in this case refers to the illegal detention of a human being.
Video footage of the operation shows police officers attempting to bring Nichols to the ground with tear gas and a taser gun. Your victim tries to flee, the officers stop him. Later, Nichols is seen moaning in pain as the officers repeatedly punch and kick him while he is lying on the ground.
Protesters in Memphis against police violence
This Saturday, dozens of demonstrators in Memphis protested against police violence. They called for police reform and for those responsible for Nichols’ death to be brought to justice.
In the USA, deadly police violence against black people causes horror and outrage again and again. Usually – if not in the case of Tire Nichols – white police officers are the perpetrators, as in the case of George Floyd, who was killed in Minneapolis in May 2020 when he was arrested.
pg/uh (dpa, afp)