Cleveland-area organizations hold memorial vigil for Tyre Nichols, demand police accountability
CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A coalition of racial justice and human rights organizations in the Cleveland area on Sunday held a memorial vigil for Tyre Nichols, 29, who was killed in a deadly beating by five police officers during a Jan. 7 traffic stop in Memphis, Tennessee.
About 150 people gathered in front of the Free Stamp on Lakeside Avenue E. in downtown Cleveland, pausing for a moment of silence in Nichols memory, while also saying his name and the names of others who have died at the hands of police here in Northeast Ohio, and nationwide.
Aisia Jones of Black Lives Matter Cleveland couldn’t fight back her tears, telling the crowd that gathered, “I’m sorry, I’m tired of this. I stand here today as a mother, I brought my son with me and at 10-years-old he said what happened with the police again?”
Latonya Goldsby the President and Co-Founder of Black Lives Matter Cleveland says even body worn cameras that were instituted as part of police reform and transparency aren’t stopping the blood shed, “Yes these police officers were Black but they’re blue. They are blue and there’s a thin blue line between love and hate. We want accountability across the board, but not just for Black police, white police officers too. We want them prosecuted.”
Matthew Ahn, a Law Professor at Cleveland State University who attended the vigil for Tyre Nichols of Memphis, says society has demanded police reform, but he feels the so-called solutions are not working, “Police have killed about 1100 people every single year since we’ve had good data.”
Nichols, who was Black, died three days following the incident in Memphis, according to the Associated Press.
The AP reported that the Shelby County district attorney found the five officers responsible on Jan. 26 for Nichol’s death.
Officials identified the officers as Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Hales, Desmond Mills Jr., Emmitt Martin III and Justin Smith.
The district attorney charged all five men, who are Black, with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression, according to the AP.
The City of Cleveland said they would be any potential protests throughout the city on Friday, adding they have an action plan “at the ready” to keep the city and its residents safe.
This is a developing story. Return to 19 News for updates.
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