MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The calls for accountability are growing louder and louder days after footage of Tyre Nichols’ arrest was made public, sparking nationwide protests which continued in Memphis.
Long before the tragic death of Tyre Nichols, many across the community were calling for reform and now they are hoping that it will finally happen.
The 29-year-old died earlier this month after being beaten by Memphis Police officers during an alleged traffic stop.
“It’s hard to come back from the thoughts of what he went through,” Paula Buress, a community activist said.
There was a makeshift memorial made near where the deadly encounter occurred, bringing residents like Andrea Jackson out.
“To lose his life when all it took was compassion, and communication, it reminded me how this could happen to anyone. The city [has] really come together and do what’s right,” Jackson said.
It’s a thought not only shared by Jackson but by protesters as well as those who held a demonstration outside of a Memphis Police precinct Sunday.
“This is nothing new. It’s a systemic thing. It’s a systemic problem, you have to change it within the system,” Jennifer Cain, a community activist said.
As a result of Nichols’ death, five former MPD officers are facing multiple charges. Two Shelby County sheriff deputies have been relieved of duty, along with members of the Memphis Fire department.
This is an outcome that protesters believe is a step in the right direction after the third consecutive day of peaceful demonstrations.
“The police officers need to be held accountable. I don’t believe that any police should get by with this, just because they were angry or they snapped, but we need to stop it before it happens,” Patty Crawford, a protester said.
Some members of the Memphis City Council are now proposing new legislation that they believe could increase the ability to hold law enforcement accountable.