Protests broke out across the country late Friday after the release of police bodycam footage showing the “unconscionable” deadly beating of Tyre Nichols by Memphis cops.
Crowds flocked to the streets in major cities over the explosive video, which Memphis’ police commissioner warned had showed “acts that defy humanity.”
In Memphis schools, the city power company’s community offices and the University of Memphis were among the groups to close early, with many Saturday events in the city also scrapped.
Other protests were organized in New York City, as well as Sacramento, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Seattle, with police at the ready for potential violence.
The White House said it held a joint emergency call Friday with the mayors of at least 16 cities before the sickening video’s release “to brief them on federal preparations in support of state and local leaders.
“Participating mayors shared their perspectives on how important it is to recognize the pain felt by communities across this country, be prepared in advance with a game plan to provide adequate community support, and to reinforce the importance of peace and calm during these difficult moments,” the Biden administration said in a statement about the call, which included cities from New York to Atlanta, Washington, DC, Seattle and Portland.
As people started gathering in New York City on Friday, Mayor Eric Adams warned, “If you need to express your anger and outrage, do so peacefully.
“The message to the NYPD has been and will continue to be to exercise restraint,” the former cop added, referring to complaints that officers have inflamed previous protests involving such issues as police brutality.
In Portland — where rioters torched buildings in almost endless anarchy throughout 2020 — ANTIFA members were planning for a ‘VERY long weekend,” according to messages shared by author Andy Ngo.
The city’s violent protesters have helped lead the country’s radical “Defund the Police” movement, which includes those calling for whole cop departments to be dismantled.
‘EVERY SINGLE MURDER caused by police should ignite within us a rage that is unstoppable,” said one message about Nichols’ death.
“The cops should fear us. We have been too quiet. Too peaceful. Too passive.
“The fires need to burn.”
Another person predicted that “if the video is as bad as they make it seem, this will ignite a whole new uprising. And it should.”
California Highway Patrol officers were put on alert in The Golden State, and Sacramento’s local chapter of the NAACP organized a gathering to watch the video release together. The California city is where Nichols lived for years before his family moved to Tennessee.
The outrage came as Atlanta, Ga., was already under a state of emergency after the Jan. 18 killing by authorities of an environmental activist said to have shot a state trooper. Protesters previously set a police cruiser on fire and thrown rocks and lit fireworks in front of a skyscraper that houses the Atlanta Police Foundation.
Officials signaled for days that the Nichols video would likely spark an uprising of anger of the kind not seen since after the 2020 murder of George Floyd under the knee of a cowardly Minneapolis cop. Unlike in that case, the five Memphis cops charged with murdering Nichols are all black, as he was.
Memphis’s top cop, Cerelyn Davis, on Friday compared her officers’ “heinous” actions to the notorious beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles cops in 1991, which sparked some of the worst riots the country has ever seen.
On Wednesday — two days before the release of the shocking video of Nichols’ police-brutality death — Davis said she expected people “to exercise their First Amendment right to protest, to demand action and results” after seeing the “heinous” footage.
“But we need to ensure our community is safe in this process. None of this is a calling card for inciting violence or destruction on our community or our citizens,” she said.
Nichols’ mom has also begged people to “protest peacefully.
“It’s going to be horrific, but I want each and every one of you to protest in peace,” RowVaughn Wells said at a vigil for her son Thursday, referring to the video.
“I don’t want us burning up our cities, tearing up the streets, because that’s not what my son stood for,” she pleaded.
President Biden also has personally tried to get ahead of the expected anger with a call for peace.
“Outrage is understandable, but violence is never acceptable,” the commander-in-chief said earlier in the week. “Violence is destructive and against the law. It has no place in peaceful protests seeking justice.”
In New York, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell told The Post that her officers were at the ready, with unplanned time off scrapped through the weekend.
“The NYPD is capable of making sure that people are free to exercise their constitutional rights. But we will not tolerate vandalism or criminality or disorder. We just won’t,” Sewell said.
“We cannot have them engage in disorder. We just can’t,” she stressed.
Similar plans were being made in DC, where the Metropolitan Police Department warned it “will not tolerate any unlawful behavior during First Amendment demonstrations.”
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