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Black man was beaten like 'a human piñata' after asking cops 'what did I do,' lawyer says — now he's dead

Raw Story 1/23/2023 Sky Palma
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The family of a man who died three days after a confrontation with Memphis police during a traffic stop is speaking out, with their attorney calling video of the incident “appalling, heinous, violent and troublesome," Action News 5 reports.

Five Memphis Police officers, Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin, Desmond Mills and Justin Smith, were fired for their involvement in the traffic stop of Tyre Nichols. All five of the former officers, like Nichols are Black. According to the family's attorney Ben Crump, the race of the officers is irrelevant.

“It is not the race of the police officer that is the determining factor of the amount of force, it is the race of the citizen,” Crump said. “...It is about the Black and brown citizens that get dealt excessive force from the police officers, whether they are Black, white or brown, and it has to stop.”

The other attorney for the family, Antonio Romanucci, said Nichols was "defenseless" and a "human piñata" and was beaten for three minutes. "It was unabashed, nonstop beating. That is what is going to show up in that video," said Romanucci.

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Romanucci also asked people who have patience until the video comes out, "then you can be your own judge."

Romanucci added that the officers were in unmarked cars and questioned why they were conducting traffic stops.

Officials have said the footage will not be released publicly until the internal investigation is completed.

“Transparency remains a priority in this incident, and a premature release could adversely impact the criminal investigation and the judicial process. We are working with the District Attorney’s Office to determine the appropriate time to release video recording publicly,” Police Chief CJ Davis said in a statement.

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