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Protests in US after footage releases of Black man being beaten by police

Protests erupted across the US after the release of a footage which showed five former police officers in Memphis brutally beating an African-American man who died three days later after the gruesome incident. 

The police officers, who are all Black and charged with murder, are seen taking turns to kick and punch the 29-year-old victim Tyre Nichols on January 7 as he screamed for his mother during the incident at a traffic stop, the BBC reported. 

On Friday, the Memphis Police Department released four graphic videos, totalling more than an hour of footage.

The first video shows officers pulling Nichols out of his vehicle and shouting at him to get on the ground.

“I didn’t do anything!” he says. Officers demand that he lie down flat.

Within seconds, one of the officers fires a Taser at the victim, who leaps up and manages to run away.

A separate video, from a CCTV camera mounted on a utility pole, shows officers beating Nichols after catching up with him in a residential area.

Two officers are seen holding him down while others take turns kicking and punching him and striking him with an expandable baton.

They drag him across the ground and prop him sitting up against a squad car.

The third and fourth videos show police body camera footage of the beating, with Nichols being held down, pepper-sprayed and assaulted as he repeatedly shouts: “Mom!”

The five officers — Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Desmond Mills Jr, Emmitt Martin III, and Justin Smith — were fired last week and were taken into custody on Thursday, the BBC reported. 

Each faces charges of second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression.

Four of the five posted bail and were released from custody by Friday morning, according to jail records.

Shortly after the footage was released, protests erupted in New York and Memphis.

Rallies and demonstrations were also planned to be held in Washington, Chicago, Boston, Detroit, Dallas, Philadelphia, San Francisco, San Diego, Atlanta and Portland.

President Joe Biden, who has called for demonstrations to remain peaceful, said in a statement: “Like so many, I was outraged and deeply pained to see the horrific video of the beating that resulted in Tyre Nichols’ death.”

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