Video showing five Memphis officers beating a Black man was made public Friday, just one day after the officers were charged with murder in the death of Tyre Nichols.
The footage shows the Black officers savagely beating the 29-year-old FedEx worker for three minutes in an assault that the Nichols family’s legal team likened to the infamous 1991 police beating of Los Angeles motorist Rodney King.
RELATED: Memphis authorities release video in Tyre Nichols’ death
Following the release of the footage Friday, News4JAX spoke with attorney John Burris, who represented King nearly 32 years ago.
“We would have thought this had changed substantially with George Floyd, but since Rodney King, there’s been cellphones and body-worn cameras, and much of what police officers do is seen at the time, even in this case, which is very surprising that officers would engage in this level of conduct when they know they are being videotaped,” Burris said.
He said the fact that the Memphis officers carried out the beating on Nichols while knowing they were being recorded suggests the officers felt their actions were justified. But when the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations looked in to the matter, they determined the five officers committed murder.
Burris says multiple video angles of what happened played a key role in charges being filed against the now former officers.
“One can argue just from that, the videos were sufficient evidence on its face to support criminal charges and certainly firing,” Burris said.
Lori King is the daughter of Rodney King. She too spoke about the release of the videos.
“The only difference between my father’s situation and now is hashtags and a clearer camera,” she said. “We have to do better. This is unacceptable.”
Burris was quick to point out that the public should not compare the two beatings.
“The point is, a beating in both cases is beyond reasonableness. And any officer involved should pay the price and other officers be deterred if these officers are tried, convicted and sent to prison,” Burris said.
Copyright 2023 by WJXT News4JAX – All rights reserved.