Former President Donald Trump on Saturday said the footage of the brutal beating of Tyre Nichols by five Memphis police officers is “horrible” and that the attack “never should have happened.”
“I thought it was terrible. He was in such trouble. He was just being pummeled. Now that should never have happened," Trump said in an interview with The Associated Press on Saturday, a day after authorities released footage of the attack on the 29-year-old Black man after a traffic stop. Nichols died three days later.
The newly released violent video in Memphis shows police holding down and beating Nichols for three minutes with their fists, boots and batons. The footage shows police screaming profanities at him while Nichols screams for his mother. Trump said Nichols calling out for his mother was “a very sad moment.”
"That was really the point that got me the most, to be honest with you,” he said.
The five former Memphis Police Department officers, who are also Black, have been fired and charged with murder and other crimes. The legal team for Nichols’ family has likened it to the infamous 1991 police beating of Los Angeles motorist Rodney King.
Trump said Memphis Police were taking a “strong step” by disbanding the police unit involved in the attack, which was created to target violent offenders in areas beset by high crime.
“Look, the tape was perhaps not totally conclusive but, to me, it was pretty conclusive and it was vicious and violent and hard to believe — over a traffic violation," he said.
The beating renewed questions about the how fatal encounters with law enforcement continue to occur after repeated calls for change and a nationwide reckoning and scrutiny of policing after Floyd's murder. Trump condemned the killing.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this story.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.