‘Our country demands police reform’ – Birmingham Mayor Woodfin responds to Tire Nichols incident
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin and Birmingham Police Department (BPD) Chief Scott Thurmond have both weighed in on the death of Tire Nichols by multiple police officers in Memphis on January 7.
Newly released body camera footage showed Memphis police officers violently beating Nichols, who died of his injuries.
According to reports, officers pulled Nichols over for reckless driving, but a confrontation ensued. Nichols attempted to flee from the officers, but five officers held him down and punched him repeatedly. Meanwhile, Nichols cried out for his mother.
All of the officers were fired and now face charges of second degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression.
Thurmond offered his department’s condolences to Nichols’ family and said the BPD will require its officers “a higher level of display of our commitment to excellence and integrity in all situations in which our officers are placed”.
“Every time a tragic incident like this happens, all law enforcement agencies are hurt because of the shame that has come to hang over our profession,” Thurmond said. “As police officers, we all take an oath and must hold ourselves accountable for our actions.”
“We do not condone the actions of these former officers and will remain steadfast in our position that as a department we will follow and maintain a true moral compass in all of our actions,” he continued.
Woodfin took to social media on Friday. On Facebook, he said Nichols’ video was “chilling”.
“This is a blatant and horrific demonstration of the evils of police brutality,” he said. “This vicious cruelty must not be our norm. Our country demands police reform. His family deserves justice.”
In another post, he said Nichols’ crying for his mother “literally hurts my stomach.”
He went into more detail on Twitter.
“There’s a lot to unpack and a lot of unanswered questions in the murder of Tire Nichols by five Memphis police officers,” Woodfin said. “But I’m thinking of only one person right now – his mother. No parent should have to see their child being bullied in such a horrific way.”
There’s a lot to unpack and a lot of unanswered questions in the murder of Tire Nichols by five Memphis police officers.
But my mind is currently on one person – his mother. No parent should have to see their child being bullied in such a horrific way.
— Randall Woodfin (@randallwoodfin) January 27, 2023
Everyone involved in the incident was black. However, some left-wing media, like CNNsuggested that the murder “may still have been motivated by racism”.
According to reports, Shelby County, Tennessee, Sheriff Floyd Bonner, Jr. launched a internal investigation about the incident after the video was released.
Several cities across the country braced for violent riots on Friday night, some involving the National Guard. Georgia Governor Bryan Kemp has even declared a state of emergency.
Several protests simply blocked traffic, while some protesters in Los Angeles went on a rampage and tore down a protective barricade around the Los Angeles Police Department headquarters. Someone spray painted the word “kill” on the wall of the building.
According to Los Angeles Timesothers could be heard shouting, “kill cops” and “how does it feel to be scared for your life?”
Across the country, a man in Times Square stomped on the windshield of an NYPD police cruiser, according to the New York Post.
The Post also reported that Greater New York’s Black Lives Matter co-founder Hawk Newsome advocated for violence at another New York City protest, saying “we’ll never take violence off the fucking table. “.
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