A small group of protesters gathered in front of the Dallas Police Department’s headquarters Friday evening as four videos of Tyre Nichols being beaten by five Memphis police officers were released to the public.
Protesters chanted “no justice, no peace” and “no good cops in a racist system” in front of the police headquarters while helicopters flew over downtown Dallas.
There was a large media presence at the rally. No police officers were visible despite the rally taking place in front of the police headquarters at 1400 Botham Jean Boulevard.
The videos, all released by the City of Memphis, included body camera footage from three police officers and one from fixed atop a pole in the neighborhood where Nichols, 29, was beaten.
One showed Nichols in a traffic stop and running from police after being sprayed with mace. In another, Nichols called out to his mom while being beaten.
Nichols’ death resulted in five Black police officers being charged, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.
Dominique Alexander, organizer and founder of the Next Generation Action Network, criticized the Dallas Police Department and Chief Eddie Garcia for its perceived lack of transparency to the public.
“It’s bigger than all of us,” Alexander said of police violence. “If we don’t find a way to accomplish and end police brutality and this culture of violence on black and brown communities in America, we will continue to keep going in this circle.”
Maxie Johnson, Dallas Independent School District trustee, was in attendance at the rally and told the crowd he will “stand with the community.”
“And I will continue to stand with the community because our community has the same educational inequities,” Johnson said, saying that poverty was a detriment to the black community. “We want good jobs in our community. And when we get jobs and finance our community, it will stop the violence.”
The five officers arrested in the death of Nichols were booked on charges ranging from second-degree murder to aggravated kidnapping.
Nichols was initially pulled over on January 7 near his mother’s house for alleged reckless driving, but after being stopped, he fled briefly on foot. At that point, he was beaten. The body camera footage and other footage show one officer kicking him while he’s held on the ground and officers punching him repeatedly in the head while being held up. Nichols died three days later.
Irfan Sattar stood in front of the police station with a sign that said, “I can’t breathe,” wearing a blue sweatshirt that said “Memphis.” He told The Dallas Express that he moved to Dallas from Memphis five years ago and still has family there.
“I came to support here in Dallas, even though I’m not in my city,” Sattar said. “One of the things that I’m hoping is my city showcases love tonight, tomorrow, and the next week. I know the internet wants to see this rage. . . they want to see all this stuff go down, but I know my city is not that way.”
The protest in downtown Dallas was entirely peaceful, but there was some violence in places like Atlanta, Georgia, which was already experiencing unrest from protests related to a planned police training facility.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency last Friday that will be in effect until February 9.
The protest comes less than three years after George Floyd died after a confrontation with Minneapolis police on May 25, 2020. The incident sparked the “Black Lives Matter” movement and calls in some large cities to defund the police.
The cuts may have led, in part, to a rise in crime in major cities. The FBI reported a 30% increase in violent crime in 2020.
They’re calling it racist when it was 5 BLACK officers who did the beating? That seems like a personal vendetta to me. I mean, seriously, 5 officers for a traffic violation. One or more of those officers had a beef with that man. And they were oblivious to the fact that they were being recorded? I guess they thought because they’re black, no one could prosecute them or they would holler racism. Black people need to wake up to the violence within their own race against one another. They actually think that the police force tells black men to go beat up on blacks? This is getting ridiculous. Those 5 need to be prosecuted and I feel sure that they will. The evidence is irrefutable.
When we defund the police, how do we hire policemen? Trustee Johnson need to focus on education, the Mayor of Dallas takes care of city funding. What happens in Dallas is politician who are hired to take care of their positions should take care what they were for.
Your Governor, attorney general and his staff should do their job. Have you met with the Mayor, City Council and the City Manager. Your congressional person, state Representative and State Senator were voted into these positions.
When citizens don’t vote they get the same old Good Talk, which is Bull crap. Memphis Citizens are some of the worst voters in the country. When they hired The new Chief, they knew Chief Carolyn Davis was hard core. She had the same kind of Police in Atlanta. We complain about crime in Dallas you could have the same kind of Chief in Dallas and you know what community they will be placed in.
EVERYONE thinks this travesty was despicable. There is no need for riots or demonstrations.