Breaking News
More () »

Atlanta reacts to Memphis beating death video of Tyre Nichols

With signs, a group gathered at Centennial Olympic Park in Downtown Atlanta.

ATLANTA — Editor's Note: 11Alive gathered a diverse group of journalists across the newsroom to view the video, including our own Ron Jones, a former police sergeant. We are not airing the full video and are choosing to use only the portions which add context to encounter. Anyone who wants to see the video can find it here. Read 11Alive's full editor's note about the video release here.

As the world awaited the release of the video capturing the Memphis, Tenn. beating death of Tyre Nichols, a small crowd gathered at Centennial Olympic Park in Downtown Atlanta.

With signs, they stood in solidarity to amplify Nichols' life and call out the wrong-doings of the five Memphis officers who have been fired. They are now facing murder charges in the case. 

About three dozen people took part in the rally, wanting the entire city to join them. The outrage of the crowd was expressed in the chants.

“We need change, and to get change, we’ve got to stay together," said Jan Rivers of the Democratic Socialists of America.

At one point a child led the crowd in call and response: “No justice! No peace!”

They remained in the area for about and hour and 45 minutes -- but nearly 400 miles away, in the city where the killing took place, is a different picture. Protesters blocked off parts of I-55 in Memphis after the video was released Friday evening. 

In Atlanta, Mayor Andre Dickens posted a social media video before the video dropped saying the cities have a shared history, referencing the birth place of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Memphis being where the civil rights leader was assassinated.  

And, after Tennessee authorities released the video, Dickens called it a "horrific act," adding that he knows he isn't alone in his "feelings of sickness and anger in the attack on Mr. Tyre Nichols."

Nichols was stopped by the west Tennessee officers on Jan. 7 during a traffic stop. The video shows officers holding down the 29-year-old and repeatedly hitting him as he cried out. He died three days after the brutal beating. 

Statements on the Tyre Nichols' case

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center released a statement on Nichols' death:

Atlanta City Council President Doug Shipman that law enforcement should protect and serve and that it's a "sacred social contract" that was broken.

Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office released the following statement in the Twitter thread below:

Georgia's  U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock said  "we must never accept injustice" and demanded the violence stop.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said his family was "truly shaken" by the video that led to Nichols' death.

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens said he's asked the Atlanta police chief and others with the department to review the video of Nichols' killing. "We must use this moment to learn, to end these unspeakable acts of violence," he said.

Read his full statement below.

Martin Luther King, III said Nichols family and the nation deserve justice. 

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr was shocked by the video.

Georgia's U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff said Nichols' death "has once again shaken the nation's conscience."

Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum said he's heartbroken by Nichols' murder, adding that the video of the arrest "showcased multiple failures by these officers to handle this situation professionally competently."

Before You Leave, Check This Out