Trump says beating Nichols should never have happened
Colombia, SC – Former President donald trump said Saturday footage of Tire Nichols’ brutal beating by five Memphis police officers was “terrifying” and that the attack “should never have happened.”
“I thought it was terrible. He was in such trouble. He just got beaten. Well, that should never have happened,” Trump said in an interview with The Associated Press on Saturday, a day after authorities released footage of the attack on the 29-year-old black man after a traffic stop. Nichols died three days later.
The comments were notable for Trump, who is running for the White House again and has a history Promotion of rough treatment of people in police custody. He served as president during the racial justice protests that emerged in the summer of 2020 in the wake of the protests Police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Back then he signed an executive order promoting better police practices, but failed to recognize systemic racial bias.
Trump ultimately focused his 2020 reelection bid on a Message “law and order”. which emphasized support for law enforcement.
The newly released Violent video on Memphis shows Police officers held Nichols and beat him with their fists, boots and batons for three minutes. Footage shows police yelling profanities at him while Nichols yells for his mother. Trump said Nichols’ call for his mother was “a very sad moment.”
“That was really the point that moved me the most, to be honest,” he said.
Trump did not refer to the video in his campaign speeches in New Hampshire or South Carolina, the first stages of his 2024 presidential campaign.
The five former Memphis Police Department officers, who are also black, have dismissed and charged with murder and other crimes. The Nichols family’s legal team has compared it to the infamous 1991 police crackdown on motorist Rodney King in Los Angeles.
Trump said Memphis police are taking a “strong step” by disbanding the police unit involved in the attack, which was created to target violent offenders in high-crime areas.
“Look, the tape might not have been entirely conclusive, but to me it was pretty conclusive and it was vicious and violent and hard to believe — because of a traffic violation,” he said.
The renewed questions about how fatal encounters with law enforcement continue to occur following repeated calls for change and a statewide reckoning and review of policing following Floyd’s murder. At the time, Trump condemned the murder, but also protests that were largely peaceful, albeit overshadowed by outbreaks of violence.
Trump tweeted about “thugs” at the Minneapolis protests and warned, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Twitter labeled the message as glorifying violence, and Trump tried to retract the comments.
When several thousand people demonstrated in Lafayette Park across from the White House, US park police violently dispersed them with tear gas and lightning bolts just before Trump walked through the park for a photo op near St. John’s Church, where he paused in front of cameras a bible.
Price reported from New York.
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