President Joe Biden said Friday he was “outraged and deeply pained” by the footage released Friday evening showing five Memphis police officers beating Tyre Nichols during a traffic stop earlier this month.
“Like so many, I was outraged and deeply pained to see the horrific video of the beating that resulted in Tyre Nichols’ death,” Biden said in a statement. “It is yet another painful reminder of the profound fear and trauma, the pain, and the exhaustion that Black and Brown Americans experience every single day.”
Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man, died three days after his arrest. Protests were anticipated across the country after police released the videos, which show officers kicking and punching Nichols while he is on the ground after a traffic stop on Jan. 7.
“I am just trying to go home,” Nichols can be heard telling police in the footage.
“The footage that was released this evening will leave people justifiably outraged,” Biden said in his statement. “Those who seek justice should not resort to violence or destruction. Violence is never acceptable; it is illegal and destructive. I join Mr. Nichols’ family in calling for peaceful protest.”
The president added that he had spoken with Nichols’ mother and stepfather on Friday.
“There are no words to describe the heartbreak and grief of losing a beloved child and young father,” said Biden, whose son Beau died in 2015.
Biden also called for a “swift, full, and transparent investigation” into Nichols’ arrest and death.
The five officers involved in Nichols’ beating and death, who have all been fired from the Memphis Police Department, were charged with second-degree murder on Thursday.
Nichols, a father to a 4-year-old boy, worked for FedEx in the Memphis region. His hobbies included skateboarding and photography.