Joe Biden calls for 'peaceful protest' following murder charges for police officers in the death of Tyre Nichols

"I join Tyre's family in calling for peaceful protest."

Joshua Young North Carolina

On Thursday, Joe Biden called for "peaceful protest" in the streets of Memphis following the announcement from the Memphis Police Department that five former officers were charged with the murder of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols.

Biden released a statement and said, "I join Tyre's family in calling for peaceful protest. Outrage is understandable, but violence is never acceptable. Violence is destructive and against the law. It has no place in peaceful protests seeking justice."

"Public trust is the foundation of public safety and there are still too many places in America today where the bonds of trust are frayed or broken. Tyre’s death is a painful reminder that we must do more to ensure that our criminal justice system lives up to the promise of fair and impartial justice, equal treatment, and dignity for all," Biden added. 

On Thursday, the Memphis Police Department said they will release the body cam footage from the incident and the same day the Shelby County criminal court announced the officers face charges of second-degree murder.

Police Chief Cerelyn Davis told the public on Wednesday night that the clip will be released "in the coming days." 

On January 7, police initially said that Nichols was pulled over on suspicion of reckless driving, that they approached his vehicle, and a confrontation then occurred. The initial report claimed Nichols then fled on foot and officers gave chase. Afterwards, he was detained and taken into custody but then Nichols reportedly complained of shortness of breath.

Nicholes was taken to a hospital where he later died on January 10.

Former officers Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills, Jr., and Justin Smith were terminated after the incident. The New York Post reports they were fired for "excessive use of force, failing to intervene and failing to render aid."

Chief Davis said the death was "heinous, reckless, and inhumane"

"I expect our citizens to exercise their First Amendment right to protest, to demand action and results. But we need to ensure our community is safe in this process," Davis continued.

"None of this is a calling card for inciting violence or destruction on our community or against our citizens," Davis said.

Davis added, "To show those who watch us now that this behavior is not what will define our community and this great city. This is not a reflection of the good work that many Memphis police officers do every day. What comes next is our defining moment. What we all do next can be that reflection of our character."


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