Biden calls Tyre Nichols family hours before bodycam’s public release

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President Biden spoke with the family of Tyre Nichols on Friday and commended the family’s ‘courage and strength’ during a phone call.

Biden made the call on Friday as Memphis officials are expected to release body camera video of the traffic stop that would lead to Nichols’ death. The family has already had the opportunity to view the video.

‘President Biden spoke with Mrs. RowVaughn Wells and Rodney Wells, Tyre Nichols’ mother and stepfather, this afternoon to directly express his and Dr. Biden’s condolences for Tyre Nichols’ death. During the conversation, the President commended the family’s courage and strength,’ a White House official said.

Memphis police pulled over Nichols on Jan. 7 at around 8:30 p.m. for ‘reckless driving’ and a ‘confrontation occurred’ while the stop was taking place, according to officials,’ which then led to Nichols attempting to run away from the officers. When police caught up with Nichols, they say another confrontation occurred, and he then complained to the officers of shortness of breath.

‘The suspect was ultimately apprehended,’ MPD said. ‘Afterward the suspect complained of having shortness of breath, at which point an ambulance was called to the scene.’ 

Nichols was taken to St. Francis Hospital in critical condition but died on Jan. 10, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Five former Memphis police officers were fired after the incident and are being charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault as well as other charges.

Biden has previously released a statement stating that more work needs to be done within the criminal justice system, and also called for any protest to remain peaceful.

‘Public trust is the foundation of public safety and there are still too many places in America today where the bonds of trust are frayed or broken. Tyre’s death is a painful reminder that we must do more to ensure that our criminal justice system lives up to the promise of fair and impartial justice, equal treatment, and dignity for all,’ Biden said in the statement. ‘As Americans grieve, the Department of Justice conducts its investigation, and state authorities continue their work, I join Tyre’s family in calling for peaceful protest. Outrage is understandable, but violence is never acceptable. Violence is destructive and against the law.  It has no place in peaceful protests seeking justice.’

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