Tyre Nichols’ family attorney: “culture that allows them to think they can do this to Tyre”

SACRAMENTO — Tyre Nichols’ siblings stood beside leaders from the Sacramento chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, faith leaders, and elected officials to show their support for messaging: justice and peaceful protest. 

The siblings: his brothers, sister, and godsister didn’t speak, but ultimately, didn’t have to, as they heard words of support from speakers over the course of 45 minutes. Set with the backdrop of Sacramento’s City Hall, the Nichols siblings knew that within an hour of the end of the press conference, the public would have access to body camera footage of their brother’s interaction with Memphis police that, three days later, led to his death. 

Sacramento NAACP President Betty Williams told the group gathered that they would walk the path of justice alongside the Nichols family. Williams said she was in sync with the Memphis NAACP chapter president in their messaging of peaceful protest and support of the Nichols family. 

Williams spoke passionately about teaching young Black men how to react when stopped by law enforcement and that it shouldn’t end in death. 

“We shouldn’t have to tell them that their driver’s license should be in the visor so that they don’t have to reach, so that they don’t get shot,” said Williams. “We shouldn’t have to tell them to be on 10/2 in the steering wheel when the officer approaches the window so you won’t be shot.”  

Nichols’ siblings echoed this statement, nodding in agreement. 

Earlier on Friday, before the footage was released publicly, the Nichols family Attorney Ben Crump said it’s not the officer’s race that incited the violence, but the institutionalized police culture with an “unwritten law that you can engage in excessive use of force against black and brown people.”

“It doesn’t matter if the officer is a Black officer, a Hispanic officer or a White officer. It is the culture that allows them to think they can do this to Tyre,” said Crump. 

NAACP and Sacramento city leaders called for peaceful protest and promised justice for Tyre Nichols. 

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