Tyre Nichols beating death: Central Florida activists focus on 'use of force policies'
ORLANDO, Fla. - Police bodycam footage released Friday night shows Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man from Memphis, being beaten by five police officers during a traffic stop back on January 7. He died three days later, leaving his 4-year-old son without a father and his family without many answers.
The new video has many Americans upset and praising the decision to fire and arrest the officers involved. But some people in Orlando are wondering what they can do to show their support. FOX 35 spoke with those who were heavily involved in organizing local protests following the death of George Floyd nearly three years ago.
Orlando saw protests after Floyd's death, which led to changes in some of the local law enforcement policies. Orlando's mayor and police chief announced a community trust and equity initiative and Orlando police banned chokeholds and no-knock warrants.
Memphis Police Department Officers Demetrius Haley, Tadarrius Bean, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills and Justin Smith were terminated on Jan. 18 for their role in the arrest of deceased Tyre Nichols. (Memphis Police Department)
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They put together "Neighborhood Patrol Units," with a diverse team aiming to connect with as many people as possible. Police also hired mental health professionals to respond to people in crisis in appropriate cases and they started a junior reserve law enforcement course at a local high school.
Local activists say in the wake of Tyre Nichols death, the focus should be on police "use of force." After George Floyd's death, the city of Orlando also hired its first equity officer, to make sure the city is fair, equal and accessible to all.