Memphis, Tenn. ( Associated Press) – Members of Mount Olive Cathedral Church in Memphis gather for their church service Sunday, two days after the parents of Tyree Nichols called on the church for peace. , after the circulation of a video that showed how policemen beat him to death.
“So far we have remained calm, and for that we are praying,” Pastor Kenneth Thomas announced before the church service. “And certainly, we expect that to continue.”
Protests were expected in several cities across the country after the video was released on Friday, showing officers beating Nichols, who was 29, and died of his injuries three days later. In Memphis, several dozen protesters blocked the bridge on Interstate 55 that spans the Mississippi River and connects to Arkansas. Other protesters also blocked traffic in the cities of New York, Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon, but protests have been short and non-violent.
During the church service, Thomas prayed for the Nichols family, asking God to “fill them with your blessings”.
The loss remains “very emotional” for the family, an attorney for the family said Sunday, adding that those close to them want to use their energy to improve Memphis and nationally.
Attorney Ben Crump said, “Her mother is having trouble sleeping, but she continues to pray with understanding, because she believes in her heart that Tire was brought here on a mission, that the community Something good will happen.” In the statement the program “This Week” on the ABC channel.
Crump applauded the disbandment of the police’s so-called “Scorpion Unit,” which was announced Friday by Police Director Cerelin “CJ” Davis.
Davis took action the day after the video of the beating was released, stating that he heard from Nichols’ relatives, community leaders and other unaffiliated police officers before making his decision. The announcement came as the nation was still grappling with violence from officers who, like Tyr Nichols, were black. Despite intense calls for change, the video fueled collective anger over repeated acts of violence by law enforcement officers.