Tyre Nichols’ stepfather called for peace as protests erupted across the nation Friday over the fatal police beating of the father-of-one.
“Violence will not bring our son back,” Rodney Wells told Al Sharpton on MSNBC’s PoliticsNation on Saturday.
“And the people that are out there being violent, they’re doing it on their own.”
Memphis cops released sickening video of the “unconscionable” deadly beating Friday evening, sparking angry demonstrations in cities across the country — including in Memphis, New York and Los Angeles.
In Memphis Friday night, demonstrations were largely peaceful honoring the requests of Nichols’ family — although some protesters questioned why the family didn’t want to fight back with force.
“I don’t agree with the family. They call for peaceful protests…but when do we start fighting? When do we take action?” Danny Gatewood, 47, told The Post.
“I pray for the family. But I believe if that happened to my son I wouldn’t be calling for peace,” the local business owner and father of two added.
“The scripture calls for an eye for an eye.”
In New York City, protests did turn violent.
Shocking video shows a man stomping on the hood of a cop car, shattering the windshield in Times Square. An NYPD officer was also punched in the nose during the heated fracas.
Three people were arrested in the tourist hotspot.
In the days leading up to the release of the video on Friday, officials signaled the footage would likely spark an uprising of anger reminiscent of the 2020 murder of George Floyd.
Memphis’ top cop, Cerelyn Davis, even compared her officers’ “heinous” actions to the notorious beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles cops in 1991.
On Saturday night, cities braced for another night of potentially violent protests.
The bombshell body cam footage released Friday night shows Nichols – a 29-year-old father with no police record — kicked, punched and pepper sprayed after police pulled him over for alleged reckless driving on Jan. 7.
Three days after the beating, Nichols died as a result of the brutal injuries in the hospital.
Five cops involved — identified as Tadarrius Bean, 24, Demetrius Haley, 30, Emmitt Martin III, 30, Desmond Mills, Jr., 32, and Justin Smith, 28 — were charged with Nichols’ murder and surrendered to law enforcement on Thursday.
They are charged with aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct, and official oppression in addition to second-degree murder.
Rodney Wells told MSNBC that he originally wanted the officers charged with first-degree murder but has since supported the second-degree charge.
“What we don’t want to happen is to go to trial and they get off on a technicality. They seem to have an ironclad case so we want to go forward with it,” he told Sharpton.
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