Deadly police beating of Tyre Nichols sparked protest across US after video released to public

Police departments across Metro Detroit issued statements on the incident

DETROIT – Just as the City of Memphis released the video showing Tyre Nichols’ fatal beating at the hands of police, protesters gathered in Downtown Detroit to call for justice.

A couple of dozen demonstrators held signs and chanted.

One of the organizers told Local 4 they chose to hold the demonstration at the same time as the video’s release.

Read: A timeline of events in Tyre Nichols arrest, death

“It’s hard for the community to see things like that, especially on a regular basis,” said Mitchell Bonga with Party for Socialism and Liberation.

Bonga said he would watch the footage, but he focused on the demonstration at the time.

Read: Live Updates | Release of video of Tyre Nichols’ beating

“We already know how brutal it’s going to be and wanted the community to get together and speak up against police brutality everywhere, whether it’s here in Detroit or there,” Bonga said.

Other demonstrators said the video was too traumatizing to watch.

Local police department’s shared their reaction Friday (Jan. 27) night as the footage was released.

“The Detroit Police Department is aware of the pending video release of Tyre Nichols. We anticipate that what will be depicted in this video will invoke a variety of emotions. We remain firmly committed to the protection and service to our community, residents and visitors alike. We stand with our community and operate with the highest level of transparency.”

Detroit Police Department

“The coldness and callousness of the recent actions by five police officers in the City of Memphis, Tennessee, is heartbreaking. The loss of Tyre Nichols again underscores the need for police reform across the country and meaningful, courageous conversations between community stakeholders and law enforcement. I could echo the sentiments of many law enforcement leaders who have encouraged better training, but compassion, concern, and humanity isn’t garnered from any textbook or PowerPoint presentation. The lack of faith, empathy, and understanding are at the heart of the issue. Tyre Nichols mattered. His family and friends matter, and until the respect for life and protecting the dignity that each and every human being so deserves becomes a priority for law enforcement, these incidents will continue. This isn’t a training issue. It’s a human issue. The criminal justice system will move forward with the necessary steps to prosecute those responsible for this young man’s death, but what will each and every one of us do to work to ensure that this doesn’t continue? We owe it to ourselves and to Tyre Nichols to make the necessary changes in policing, to bring faith to the forefront, and as police executives, we should be ensuring that the people wearing badges in our communities have the rapprochement, respect and decency to serve without bias, prejudice, or intimidation. Compassion is a requisite of policing. I am saddened at what I saw. I am angered at the images of public servants showing such contempt for human life, and as a police chief, utterly embarrassed that they called themselves police officers. I applaud the swift actions by Memphis police leaders in holding officers accountable, and I offer my sincere condolences to the Nichols family.”

Inkster Chief of police William Ratliff.

About the Authors:

Jacqueline Francis is an award-winning journalist who joined the WDIV team in September 2022. Prior to Local 4, she reported for the NBC affiliate in West Michigan. When she’s not on the job, Jacqueline enjoys taking advantage of all the wonders Michigan has to offer, from ski trips up north to beach days with her dog, Ace.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.