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‘We’re Tired of Being Beaten’

Protesters across US call for justice for Tyre Nichols

Protesters block traffic in Memphis, Tennessee, as they rally against the fatal police beating of Tyre Nichols.,Seth Herald/AFP/Getty Images

Protests took place in multiple US cities late Friday after police released footage of Tyre Nichols’ fatal beating at the hands of Memphis police.

The video released late Friday shows several Memphis officers kicking Nichols repeatedly in the head, punching him in the face, and hitting him with a baton.

Officers and medical personnel failed to intervene after the attacks left Nichols unable to sit upright. Five of the involved officers have been fired and charged with second-degree murder.

The protests remained largely peaceful throughout the night.

Protestors in Memphis, where the fatal beating took place, poured onto Interstate 55, a highway that connects Tennessee and Arkansas, on Friday night to express their outrage at the video and ongoing excessive force used by Memphis police.

Nyliayh Stewart, 24, joined protestors and discussed the killing of her cousin by a white Memphis police officer during a traffic stop.

Demonstrators gather near the White House in Washington DC to protest.

Demonstrators gather near the White House in Washington DC to protest. Photograph: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

“This should not have happened,” said Stewart. “This family should not have to bury him. My family should not have had to bury my cousin.”

In New York, dozens of protestors gathered in Times Square after the video’s release, decrying the brutal beating and police brutality at large. “What’s his name? Tyre! Say his name. Tyre!” the demonstrators chanted while holding up signs.

At least one person was arrested for allegedly attempting to smash a police car’s windshield. Two more were arrested during the demonstrations, but official charges are still pending, according to a report from ABC News 7.

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A man, his fist raised in the air, walks along a busy street filled with cars and other people.

In New York City, people demonstrated in Times Square after video of the fatal police beating was released. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Demonstrators also met in the city’s Union Square and Grand Central terminal, which police limited access to given the expected protests.

Several smaller groups in Chicago hosted rallies and vigils in response to the brutal video, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Groups of 10 to 20 people held peaceful demonstrations in front of the Chicago police department headquarters in the Bronzeville neighborhood and in several other communities. “We’re tired of being murdered, tired of being beaten, tired of being chased,” said Rabbi Michael Ben Yosef, who joined demonstrators in front of the department headquarters, according to ABC 7 Chicago.

Nearly 100 people rallied in Washington DC’s Lafayette Square in response to the video.

Dozens of protestors also marched in Philadelphia’s Center City, as organizers spoke out against the video and police violence.

“It’s absolutely disgusting,” said Talia Giles, an organizer with the Party for Socialism and Liberation, during a speech at Friday’s demonstration.

“It shows the complete and utter disregard for human life. It shows the fact that police, no matter what their race is, are going to terrorize people because that’s what the system is meant to do. It’s meant to abuse its power against citizens.”

People wearing heavy coats, hats and scarves hold signs.

People brave the snow, heavy winds and freezing temperatures in Detroit, Michigan, to protest the killing of Tyre Nichols. Photograph: Matthew Hatcher/SOPA Images/REX/Shutterstock

Civil rights leaders have spoken about the footage, calling out repeated instances of police brutality against Black people.

In a statement shared Saturday, Reverend Al Sharpton spoke about yet another example of police brutality against a Black man.

“Once again, we are forced to watch another horrific video of cops using brutal force to kill a Black man,” said Sharpton, who will be speaking at a rally on Saturday.

“Nearly three years after the murder of George Floyd shook the world, here we are.”