Activists, families of police brutality victims rally in Newark in wake of Tyre Nichols’ death
Activists held a rally in Newark Saturday to demand justice for the police killing of Tyre Nichols.
Organizers, community members and family members of police brutality victims gathered at the Lincoln statue along Springfield Avenue. The People’s Organization for Progress said the rally was about standing in solidarity.
"We have to build a movement to stop police brutality. Obviously, there are police that did not learn any lessons from the death of George Floyd," said Lawrence Hamm, chairman of People's Organization for Progress.
It was on Jan. 7 when Memphis police officers could be seen on body camera footage repeatedly hitting and beating 29-year-old Nichols following traffic stop. Three days later, Nichols died at a hospital. All five police officers who were charged with murder are Black.
While organizers said they find comfort in the fact that the criminal justice system moved swiftly to arrest and charge the officers, Hamm said he would like law enforcement to move as quickly to charge white officers as it was done with the Black officers.
Demonstrators said it's a deep problem that is beyond Black and white - it's about blue.
"They cannot say that we are looking at the police officer's race. We are looking at what the police officer is doing to our communities and we want it to stop," said Daryle Lamont Jenkins, founder of One People's Project.
Demonstrators also emphasized that the rally was also about making a change not only in Memphis but in New Jersey as well.
"We need transparency in all of these police departments across the state. My brother should still be here," said Valerie Dale, sister of a veteran who was fatally shot by New Jersey state police.
The Memphis Fire Department said two workers, "involved in the initial care of Nichols were relieved of duty during an investigation." It was unclear as of Saturday night if they were EMS.