Several hundred march through downtown Oakland demanding justice for Tyre Nichols

ByTara Campbell and Anser Hassan KGO logo
Monday, January 30, 2023
Hundreds march in Oakland demanding justice for Tyre Nichols
Hundreds from across the Bay Area marched Sunday in Oakland in the wake of the release of Memphis police bodycam footage of Tyre Nichols beating.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- A few hundred people rallied and marched through downtown Oakland on Sunday, to demand justice for Tyre Nichols. The 29-year-old was brutally beaten by five Memphis police officers after a traffic stop on Jan. 7. He died three days later from his injuries.

"What happened to Tyre Nichols is not an exception, it's the rule. And it happens every single day in this country. This is what American policing looks like," said Cat Brooks, executive director of the Anti-Police Terror Project, which organized the event. "And if you really believe that we are the land of the freedom, home of the brave, and democracy and all that, it is time to finally admit that the way we do 'public safety' in this country is not working."

MORE: Criminal justice expert explains how Tyre Nichols' death shows continuing issue with policing in US

Protests are underway across the U.S. on Friday in response to the release of police video of the confrontation that led to the death of Tyre Nichols.

People from around the Bay Area joined in.

"Obviously we are here to collectively grieve Tyre Nichols' brutal murder. And to stand in solidarity with the Memphis community," said Brianna Vieira, who lives in San Jose.

"This is about a system of justice and whether sufficient protections are in place to ensure equal justice for all Americans," said Charles Jung, a San Francisco resident.

Uncle Bobby X also spoke at the rally. He is the uncle of Oscar Grant, the young man who was killed by BART police in 2009.

MORE: SF Bay Area police agencies respond following release of Tyre Nichols traffic stop video

Protests are underway across the U.S. on Friday in response to the release of police video of the confrontation that led to the death of Tyre Nichols.

"Tyre has brought us here. Let us not just stop here! Let us take it across the country!" he said.

According to data by the Anti-Police Terror Project in Oakland, black motorists are eight times more likely than their white counterparts to be pulled over by law enforcement.

"All cops are blue. The time you put on the badge, gun and uniform, you ain't black no more. You are an agent of the state," said Brooks. "So, we are also here to say take cops out of the traffic stops! You do not have to need a badge and a gun to give somebody a speeding ticket."

Several Bay Area police departments, from San Francisco to Oakland to San Jose, issued statements condemning Nichols' death.

MORE: EXCLUSIVE: Tyre Nichols' family reacts to public police video release

Tyre Nichols' mother and stepfather sat down with ABC News to discuss the public release of the video showing five Memphis police officers beating their son during a traffic stop.

Many of those who marched don't think the race of the officers is the issue at hand.

"It is not just white police officers, it's black police officers. That is a problem. It is the system," said one of the protestors who went by "G."

"I feel like it doesn't matter (if) it was white police officers or black police officers. It is the people in power hurting people without power," said Haider Abbas, a San Francisco resident.

Despite some reports of graffiti, the protest remained peaceful with no reports of arrests.

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