Memphis city council chairman gets emotional over Nichols video, recounts being stopped by police
Memphis Metropolis Council Chairman Martavius Jones, a Black man, says he was overcome with emotion after seeing the brutal beating of Tyre Nichols by the hands of Memphis police.
In a viral interview with CNN’s Don Lemon, Jones broke down on air when requested concerning the Nichols video. He instructed Yahoo Information that he was emotional as a result of he skilled a daunting encounter with regulation enforcement a long time in the past.
“I had an incident the place I used to be pulled over and I used to be trying down the barrel of a .357 [Magnum] once I was a youngster,” he instructed Yahoo Information.
Jones, who has a son, says it occurred practically 37 years in the past whereas he was in faculty, however that he nonetheless remembers the life-and-death state of affairs he was confronted with.
“So being pulled over, below false pretenses by regulation enforcement, might have simply turned sideways. And it might have been dire penalties for me or folks that I do know,” he stated.
Jones and his colleagues noticed the video of Nichols’s arrest on Friday afternoon, hours earlier than it was launched by the Memphis Police Division.
“As I’m sitting, viewing it, I’m in disbelief that that is taking place,” he stated.
However it was through the second viewing that the video actually sunk in. “The primary time was actually simply an remark. However it wasn’t till I had an opportunity to view it once more and actually sit down and digest it and see the struggling” that Nichols endured, Jones stated. “It was powerful emotionally to cope with. You simply should suppose that if he would have been rendered care extra instantly, he should be right here.”
Watching the video was much more emotional for Jones as a result of he’s elevating a younger Black boy in America.
A 2019 research from the College of Michigan, Rutgers College and Washington College discovered that the sixth main reason for demise for younger males of colour is the usage of pressure by police. The numbers present that Black males are killed by police two and a half occasions greater than white males.
“It was the truth that I’m a father. I’ve pals who’ve sons,” Jones stated. “Not that we had been proof against something, however this wasn’t purported to occur in our neighborhood. This was a site visitors cease, it wasn’t supposed to finish like this,” he stated throughout an interview with CNN on Jan. 27.
This yr marks Jones’s final yr in workplace, and he says he plans to make use of that point to construct a greater Memphis for Tyre Nichols.
“We’ve to let his legacy — his sacrifice, the sacrifice that his mom won’t have her son anymore — we can’t let this go unaddressed. So I hope that, properly I’m positive, that my colleagues will stand with me. We’re gonna should have some powerful conversations,” Jones instructed CNN.
At an upcoming sequence of city corridor conferences, he hopes to facilitate conversations between regulation enforcement and the neighborhood to assist restore religion and belief.
“I don’t suppose that you want to be a regulation enforcement professional — there may very well be nice concepts that residents have so as to enhance the Memphis Police Division, and I’m open to having these conversations,” he stated.