Former President Donald Trump added his voice to those protesting the gruesome bodycam video of five Memphis police officers beating Tyre Nichols, 29, repeatedly. The video was made available to the public on Friday, January 27.
They're literally just passing him around between officers who want a swing… #TyreNichols pic.twitter.com/M0SIfNqIbO
— James Kozanitis (@JamKozy) January 28, 2023
“I thought it was terrible. He was in such trouble. He was just being pummeled. Now that should never have happened,” Trump said during an interview with The Associated Press Saturday.
Following a traffic stop on January 7, the officers can be seen hitting, kicking, pepper spraying, and tasing Nichols, a 29-year-old Black parent and delivery driver. He died three days later, on Jan. 10. The officers were charged with his murder.
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Trump, who is running for president in 2024, said it was particularly heartbreaking to hear Nichols repeatedly call out to his mother during the assault. It was “a very sad moment,” he said.
“That was really the point that got me the most, to be honest with you,” the former president said.
The SCORPION police team, which was involved in the attack and was established to target violent offenders in regions plagued by high crime, has been disbanded, according to Trump, and this is a “strong step” on the part of Memphis police. Street Crimes Operation to Restore Peace in Our Neighborhoods is known as SCORPION.
Due to the event on January 7, it has been “permanently” decommissioned, according to Memphis officials.
Given that the police are accused of murder, Trump also referred to the footage as “very conclusive.”
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Additionally, he implied that the officers were not hitting the victim because of the traffic infraction.
“Look, the tape was perhaps not totally conclusive but, to me, it was pretty conclusive and it was vicious and violent and hard to believe — over a traffic violation,” Trump said.
Barack Obama, a former president, also commented on the Tyre Nichols bodycam tape.
Barack and Michelle Obama stated in a joint tweet that Nichols’ passing serves as a “painful reminder” for America. “The vicious, unjustified beating of Tyre Nichols and his ultimate death at the hands of five Memphis police officers is just the latest, painful reminder of how far America still has to go in fixing how we police our streets,” the couple said.
The vicious, unjustified beating of Tyre Nichols and his ultimate death at the hands of five Memphis police officers is just the latest, painful reminder of how far America still has to go in fixing how we police our streets. pic.twitter.com/ITmrNNJhiT
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) January 28, 2023
President Joe Biden also addressed the video.
My heart goes out to Tyre Nichols’ family and to Americans in Memphis and across the country who are grieving this tremendously painful loss. There are no words to describe the heartbreak and grief of losing a beloved child and young father.⁰⁰Here's my full statement. pic.twitter.com/ghROhSGtao
— President Biden (@POTUS) January 28, 2023
“My heart goes out to Tyre Nichols’ family and to Americans in Memphis and across the country who are grieving this tremendously painful loss. There are no words to describe the heartbreak and grief of losing a beloved child and young father,” he wrote in a statement Friday night.