Death of Tyre Nichols: Demonstrators at Nassau County Courthouse demand change in policing

Many said they were heartbroken over Nichols's death and disgusted with the body camera video recently released by the Memphis Police Department. They said institutional change needs to happen with policing nationwide and on the Island.

News 12 Staff

Jan 29, 2023, 10:22 PM

Updated 449 days ago

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Demonstrators gathered Sunday afternoon on the steps of the Nassau County Courthouse in Mineola to demand change in the wake of the fatal beating of Tyre Nichols.
Many said they were heartbroken over Nichols' death and disgusted with the body camera video recently released by the Memphis Police Department.
"We see the same thing continuously happen," said Uniondale resident Hikeam Hankin. "I can keep naming names: Sandra Bland, Travon Martin, George Floyd... The names keep on coming. When will this stop?"
Hankins said he wanted to come out to the rally to send a message. He said he knows there are good police officers, but also bad ones, and that needs to change.
Civil rights attorney Frederick Brewington said police training and accountability here on the Island and around the nation needs to be re-examined.
"So we are dealing with institutional issues. We're not just dealing with a singular act or a question of police misconduct. We are dealing with a culture of policing that allows this to happen," Brewington said.
When the video of Nichols was released, Darleen McDay said she again felt the pain of her own son who was allegedly beaten by guards in an upstate prison five years ago.
"We have seen a lot of people out there talking about sending their heartfelt condolences to families and things like that, but really words mean nothing," McDay said. "We need to see action."
Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman and Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder condemned the attack on Nichols, saying in a joint statement, "We are asking that all individuals and communities remain calm. Actions of a violent nature will never be tolerated."
The demonstration at the courthouse, like some others around the nation during the weekend, was peaceful, but all did not want to forget.
The demonstrators and advocates said they hope police will hear their message and begin to discuss meaningful changes.


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