Protests Seen in Chicago, NYC; More Expected Nationwide After Release of Tyre Nichols Video
Grace Hauck et al., USA Today, January 27, 2023
Amid freezing temperatures and chanting “killer cops have got to go,” at least a dozen protesters arrived Friday night outside a police precinct in one of the first planned protests of the Tyre Nichols killing at the hands of Memphis police.
Protests have been planned from coast-to-coast this weekend after law enforcement officials in Memphis released a troubling video in the fatal police beating of Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man who died three days after a traffic stop on Jan. 7.
The video of the killing, which involved five Black officers, shows Nichols being tased, belted with a baton, repeatedly kicked in the face and brutalized despite seeming to put up no resistance.
Shocking footage shows Memphis PD officers beating Tyre Nichols. pic.twitter.com/um38GxkMOi
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) January 28, 2023
Memphis police chief Cerelyn “CJ” Davis told CNN Friday that the video shows “acts that defy humanity.”
Chicago protesters arrive amid freezing temps, growing outrage
A dozen people gathered across from a police precinct in Chicago in freezing temperatures Friday evening to protest the killing of Tyre Nichols, as well as call attention to the killing of Anthony Alvarez, who was fatally shot by Chicago police in 2021.
“From Memphis to Chicago, these killer cops have got to go,” the group chanted. Some held signs saying “Justice for Tyre Nichols” and “End police terror.”
Ana Santoyo, 33, a Chicago native running for alderperson, said the killing is another reminder that police brutality is pervasive in the U.S. “It’s not just bad apples. It’s the whole bunch,” she said.
Santoyo said no mother should have to go through what Nichols’ mother is going through. Santoyo, who is Mexican American, said she worries about how police will see her own infant son as he grows up.
“Time and time again we know, cops don’t keep us safe—whenever we hear another name, whenever we have to say another name,” she said.
Kamran Sidiqi, 27, who helped organize the demonstration, said he hopes protests in Chicago and nationwide send a message that Memphis is not alone in its calls for justice for Nichols. For Sidiqi, justice begins with seeing the officers involved convicted.
“It’s tough to imagine what justice is here because Tyre is never coming back,” he said. “That’s someone’s son, someone’s friend lost forever. That’s a human being’s life that is gone. But a modicum of justice would be putting these killer cops in jail. A modicum of justice would be building a whole new system so that this can’t happen again.”
Protesters began marching through a congested Times Square shortly after 7:30 p.m.
The protests continued southbound on Seventh Avenue just before 8 p.m., with onlookers at Times Square watching. Traffic stood still as marchers passed.
“Justice for,” a speaker shouted through a megaphone. “Tyre Nichols,” marchers chanted back.
On Friday afternoon, mayors from major cities spoke with White House Homeland Security Advisor Liz Sherwood-Randall and Senior Advisor to the President Julie Rodriguez on a call to be briefed on federal preparations for the expected protests. “White House officials asked the mayors to remain in regular contact over the coming days and reiterated that the President will continue to be clear in his message to the American people that peaceful protests are appropriate, but violence is never acceptable,” the statement said.