Barack and Michelle Obama condemned the “cruel beating” of a young African-American man at the hands of the Police

Barack Obama and his wife Michelle (AFP)

Former US President Barack Obama and the former first lady Michelle Obama condemned this Saturday the “cruel” beating that several police officers gave to the African-American Tire Nichols, who died days later in a hospital.

The Obamas reacted on Twitter to the video of the beating published on Friday and which sparked protests in several cities in the United States, due to the attack against the 29-year-old African-American during a traffic control.

The cruel and unwarranted beating of Tire Nichols and his death at the hands of five Memphis police officers is just the latest painful reminder of how much America still has to do to fix the way police patrol our streets.they said.

The Obamas, the first African-American family to occupy the White House, added that every American has the option to mobilize for change. “It is up to all of us to mobilize for lasting change,” he said.

Obama, whose arrival at the White House in 2009 was interpreted as a sign of the end of discrimination against African-Americans, had to face several moments of racial tension during his time in power with protests over the murder of unarmed black citizens by hands from the police.

In the case of Nichols, the five police officers were African-American, have since been arrested and face various criminal charges, including second-degree murder.

The video shows police officers holding Nichols down while beating him for three minutes with their fists, boots and batons.

The images published by the authorities of Memphis (Tennessee, USA) also expose how the policemen beat up Nichols, 29, kicking him in the head and insulting him while the victim shouted: “Mom, mom” and “give me a minute ”.

The Nichols family legal team compared what happened to the notorious 1991 case in which police officers beat up Los Angeles motorist Rodney King.

Protest in New York over the death of Tire Nichols at the hands of the police (Reuters)
Protest in New York over the death of Tire Nichols at the hands of the police (Reuters) (JEENAH MOON /)

Trump: The images are horrible

Former President Donald Trump said Saturday that the images of the brutal beating are “horrifying” and the event “should never have happened.”

“It seemed terrible to me. They were beating him up. That should never have happened”Trump said Saturday in an interview with The Associated Weight.

Trump’s comments draw attention because of his new bid for the White House and his history of encouraging rough treatment of people stopped by police.

Trump said “it’s a very sad moment” when Nichols yells “mom.” “That was the moment that struck me the most, I’m honest”, he added.

Donald Trump (AP)
Donald Trump (AP) (Alex Brandon /)

Trump did not address the video in his speeches in New Hampshire or South Carolina, the first stops of his 2024 presidential campaign.

Trump was the president during the protests demanding racial justice in the summer of 2020 that were sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis. Back then, Trump signed an executive order to encourage better police practices but was criticized for failing to acknowledge systemic racial bias.

In the end, Trump centered his 2020 re-election campaign around a “law and order” message that highlighted his support for law enforcement.

Trump said the Memphis police took a “strong step” by disbanding the police unit involved in the assault, which was created to target violent offenders in high-crime areas.

“Look, the images may not be totally conclusive, but to me they are pretty conclusive; it was a ruthless and violent situationHard to believe, for a traffic violation,” he said.

The beating again raised questions about the fatality of police encounters after repeated calls for change, national protests and scrutiny of police after Floyd’s killing.

Trump condemned that murder at the time but also censured the protests that were mainly peaceful, although marred by outbreaks of violence.

(With information from EFE and AP)

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