Tyre Nichols: NFL weighs in on ‘senseless’ killing
The National Football League has released a statement condemning the ‘senseless’ killing of 29-year-old Memphis man Tyre Nichols as the United States breaks out in protests.
Memphis police released video of the events leading to Nichols’ death, when officers beat him following a traffic stop for purported reckless driving.
Nichols died in the hospital just days after being beaten – with video showing him calling out for his mother after the assault that took place just blocks away from his house.
Tyre Nichols is pictured in hospital. The 29-year-old from Memphis died on January 10 from cardiac arrest and kidney failure, three days after he was pulled over for reckless driving by police in unmarked cars
The NFL released a statement on Saturday, offering condolences to the family of Nichols, 29
The NFL said they’re ‘committed’ to fighting injustice in their statement Saturday. It comes after the NBA world came together to offer its support.
‘The NFL mourns the tragic and senseless death of Tyre Nichols, and we send our condolences to his loved ones and the Memphis community,’ a statement from the league read.
‘We remain deeply committed to combating the injustices and inequities that plague our society and will continue to work with our social justice partners to support our communities and fight for change.’
NFL players decided to kneel for the national anthem in protest of police brutality a few years ago. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick (R) was among the first to publicly take form of protest
It was just a few years ago that players decided to kneel for the national anthem in protest of police brutality. Notably, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was among the first to publicly take this form of protest.
Kaepernick’s protest was taken as offensive by some people and he was not re-signed by the 49ers – despite leading the team in passer rating and touchdowns on a squad in the middle of a massive re-build.
He filed a grievance against the league, accusing the owners of colluding to keep him from playing. The NFL settled with both Kaepernick and his fellow protester and former Niners teammate Eric Reid.
Kaepernick had his first workout with a team since being cut back in May of this year, when the Raiders brought him in. He did not sign a contract with the team.
The NFL Players Association also published a statement in the aftermath of the footage
The NFL Players Association also released a statement on Saturday, offering similar sentiments to the Nichols family.
‘Our prayers go out to the family and friends of Tyre Nichols and everyone in the Memphis community who are all traumatized by this senseless killing,’ the statement read.
‘We are all saddened by his death and we mourn with you.
‘This is yet another reminder that there is much work to be done in the fight against injustice in our country, and the work of our union and players to combat it must press on.
The Memphis Grizzlies released a statement, supporting ‘one of its own’ after Nichols died
The Memphis Grizzlies tweeted out a statement of support for Nichols’ family while expressing their anger over the circumstances of his death on Friday
‘We are distraught to find ourselves dealing with a needless loss of life due to police brutality, and this time it was one of Memphis’s own,’ the Grizzlies statement read Friday.
‘We’re thinking of the Nichols family and friends, and share the pain being felt throughout our community.
‘So, let’s support each other and respect how our fellow Memphians are coping. We have faith in this city and our power to heal.
‘To the Nichols family and friends, we offer our deepest sympathies and condolences for your loss.’
WARNING: GRAPHIC LANGUAGE AND DISTURBING CONTENT
The Memphis Police Department released harrowing bodycam footage of five police officers fatally beating Nichols on Friday evening, sparking nationwide outrage and protests
In the videos released, Nichols, who died on January 10, can be heard screaming ‘Mom! Mom!’ as he is pinned to the ground by multiple cops, hit with pepper spray in the face, kicked and punched in the head, and struck with a metal baton.
The video shows police rained at least nine blows down on the FedEx worker while screaming profanities throughout the nearly four-minute altercation.
Even after paramedics arrived, a handcuffed Nichols remained slumped over on the pavement for nearly half an hour without significant medical intervention.
Two officers hold Nichols to the ground as he moves about, and then the third appears to kick him in the head. Nichols slumps more fully onto the pavement with all three officers surrounding him. The same officer kicks him again.
The officer who used the pepper spray then extends a telescoping metal baton, shouting, ‘I’m gonna baton the f*** out of him!’ before striking Nichols three times in the back.
Several of the officers are seen propping Nichols up on his feet as one and punches his face. Nichols stumbles and turns, still held up by two officers.
The officer who punched him then walks around to Nichols’ front and punches him three more times. Then Nichols collapses.
Nichols is seen lying on the pavement for more than 19 minutes as at least eight cops mill around the scene, flushing pepper spray out of their own eyes.
Nearly half an hour after the assault, an ambulance finally pulls up and a stretcher is unloaded to transport Nichols.
Five officers (top, left to right) Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, & (bottom, left to right) Desmond Mills Jr. & Justin Smith were charged with second degree murder
Nichols, 29, died in the hospital three days after the incident that left him severely injured
All five officers involved in the killing were charged with second-degree murder, with the district attorney saying that though they all played different roles, ‘they are all responsible.’
In the aftermath of the release of the videos, the Memphis Police Department announced they were disbanding their so-called ‘Scorpion’ unit – which was established in November of 2021 as an anti-violence unit. Members of this unit were the officers who beat Nichols.
Police across the nation braced for potential violent unrest in response to the graphic and highly disturbing footage that was made public.
The clips released Friday are over an hour long and included video from three body-worn cameras and one surveillance camera mounted on a utility pole.
Those who have seen the video compared it to the footage of Rodney King – whose assault by multiple officers in the early-1990s led to a series of riots in Los Angeles.