Rev. Sharpton calls for end to police violence after violent death of Tyre Nichols
Protesters gathered in Harlem Saturday to call for justice in the wake of the violent arrest and death of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols in Memphis.
Rev. Al Sharpton spoke at the National Action Network's House of Justice and called for an end to police violence and to push for change in the country's criminal justice system.
"There's no excuse for what happened to this young man," Sharpton said.
According to Memphis authorities, on Jan. 7, 29-year-old Nichols was arrested just blocks away from his home for suspected reckless driving.
“He said, 'What did I do? I didn't do nothing.' They grab him and start beating him,” Sharpton said.
The beating was captured by body cameras worn by officers, which Memphis police released on Friday night.
Nichols can be seen crying out for his mother as the officers are seen kicking, punching and beating him with a baton to the point that he was hospitalized.
He died from his injuries three days later.
"And to make it even more egregious, beat by five Black cops," Sharpton said.
After an investigation, Memphis Police Department Chief Cerelyn Davis said there was no probable cause for Nichols' arrest.
"This incident was heinous, reckless, and inhumane," Davis said.
Within 19 days of the crime, the five officers who were involved were fired. They face multiple charges that include second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression. Protesters said the process to charge the officers was quicker than usual.
“I want to say loud and clear that we will fight Black cops, white cops, any color cops that commit crimes against us,” Sharpton said.
Sharpton will deliver Nichols' eulogy on Wednesday morning in Memphis. He added that immediately after that, he will be fighting like never before to pass federal policing laws.
The video sparked demonstrations across the nation on Friday, including in Times Square.
Mayor Eric Adams urged New Yorkers to respect the wishes of Nichols' mother, which was to express any outrage in response in a peaceful manner.
Adams also told the NYPD to “exercise restraint” regarding any potential protests.