On Jan. 27, the Memphis Police Department released video of Tyre Nichols’ death. Nichols, 29, died on Jan. 10 three days after he was pulled over for allegedly driving reckless.
In the hours leading up to the release of the video, some believed that it was similar to a public lynching. Another Black person being tortured to death for public consumption.
Following Emancipation, white mobs in the South would kidnap Black victims and hold public ceremonies where they were tortured and lynched. There were over 4,000 lynchings documented in America from 1890 to 1940.
Although lynchings were mostly documented by newspapers last century, the abuse of Black bodies can now be viewed by millions through video and social media.
Emerald Garner, the daughter of Eric Garner, took aim at how Tyre Nichols’ video release was being treated like a “premiere of a movie.”
“The fact that we waited for this video to be released like it was an exclusive movie that needed to be premiered on a certain day, it really boils my blood,” Garner said during an interview with NewsNation’s Chris Cuomo.
The release of the video sparked nationwide protests and several prominent figures have issued statements on the killing and video.
President Joe Biden responded by saying, “We must do everything in our power to ensure our criminal justice system lives up to the promise of fair and impartial justice, equal treatment, and dignity for all. Real and lasting change will only come if we take action to prevent tragedies like this from ever happening again….That is why I called on Congress to send the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to my desk. When Senate Republicans blocked that bill, I signed an executive order that mandated stricter use of force standards and accountability provisions for federal law enforcement, as well as measures to strengthen accountability at the state and local level.”
Officers Justin Smith, Desmond Mills Jr, Emmitt Martin III, Tadarrius Bean, and Demetrius Haley were all fired and have been charged with crimes such as murder, assault, and kidnapping.