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‘Our own worst enemy’: LeBron James leads reactions to Tyre Nichols’ arrest footage

The Independent logo The Independent 28/01/2023 Tom Murray
LeBron James, Tyre Nichols death © Getty Images/Memphis Police LeBron James, Tyre Nichols death

NBA star LeBron James was among the first to react to newly-released footage of the deadly arrest of Tyre Nichols on Friday (27 January).

The unarmed 29-year-old died three days after being beaten by five Memphis Police officers who, yesterday, were all charged with second-degree murder.

In the footage, Nichols is pursued, punched and pepper-sprayed. The officers are later seen bragging about punching him.

You can follow live updates following the video’s release here.

President Joe Biden called the video “horrific” and said it was a “painful reminder” of the fear Black and Brown Americans face regularly, while calling for peaceful demonstrations.

James first responded “TOO FACTUAL!!!” to an MSNBC journalist’s tweet about how “we’ve failed to fully understand race and it’s construction as a *systemic tool.* The entire system of policing sees the Black body as a problem. No matter who pulls the trigger.”

Nichols was beaten by five Black officers.

James later tweeted: “WE ARE OUR OWN WORSE ENEMY!!!”

Many other famous persons have taken to social media to express their condemnation and call for reforms.

Martin Luther King III, human rights activist and son of Martin Luther King Jr, tweeted: “I am deeply disturbed by the video released by Memphis Police today. We all witnessed a horrific yet perversely familiar act committed by officers of the law. Everyone involved must be arrested & charged with the murder of Tyre Nichols. His family and our nation deserve justice.”

Vermont senator Bernie Sanders wrote: “Tyre Nichols should be alive. Yes, the police officers who brutally murdered him must be held accountable. But even their conviction on the strongest possible charges cannot bring Tyre back. We must do everything in our power to end police violence against people of colour.”

Former Wonder Woman star Lynda Carter tweeted: “What happened to #TyreNichols is an epidemic. We don’t just need justice for one case, but the moral courage to change the system.”

Meanwhile, the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies held a minute’s silence before taking on the Minnesota Timberwolves.

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