Watching the horrific video of Tire Nichols being punched and kicked by the police, many Americans’ minds flash back to footage of another black man being beaten in similar circumstances more than 30 years ago.
Rodney King video was grainy and shaky before the days of police officers wearing body cameras and cell phones.
By chance, the photo was taken by a plumber who had bought a new video camera to capture his marathon-running friend, but happened to see Mr. King being attacked by the police from his apartment window.
In Los Angeles, Mr. Jin’s car was also stopped and beaten mercilessly. Video of his attack was picked up by local and national news broadcasters and played on television for days.
For the first time, America has been forced to confront such brutality in their living rooms, brutalized by those sworn to protect black people.
Mr King survives beating, but video of fatal attack tire nichols There are painful parallels, one felt especially strongly by Mr King’s family.
“People wonder where the anger comes from, how do you feel if you see someone over and over again that looks like you, your dad, your brother? It’s a pattern and we’re still here,” he said. His daughter, Lora Dene King, told NBC News after viewing footage of Nichols released by police,
The video and the subsequent acquittal of four Los Angeles police officers charged criminally with assaulting Mr. King sparked violent protests in Los Angeles and beyond.
For the first time there is very clear video evidence of police lived experience and discrimination against the black community, and people are demanding change.
Black deaths at the hands of law enforcement are now more often captured on cell phone cameras or police body cameras.
Police accountability has grown, but Ms Dene King believes reforms still have a long way to go.
“I hope no one has to explain this to their kids. I hope that one day we can look back and realize how ignorant we were. We came from here, we lived here, and we should all work together so that this never ends. It’s not going to happen. It doesn’t appear to have changed anything other than a label with a clear video,” she said.
America continues to struggle with policing issues, and deaths at the hands of law enforcement are commonplace.
Tire Nichols’ mother says she won’t stop until those responsible face justice
Outraged video shows Tire Nichols being beaten by police before he died
How Tire Nichols’ violent arrest unfolded
Last year, 1,123 people were killed by police in the United States, making it one of the deadliest years on record for police violence, according to Mapping Police Violence, a nonprofit research group.
These figures suggest that on average more than three people are killed each day, and that black people are nearly three times more likely than white people to be killed by police.
2014, Michael BrownAn unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, was shot and killed by a white police officer who was not charged.
In 2020, brena taylora medical worker, was shot dead by police during a botched raid on her flat.
There has been a string of other high profile tragedies, but this is murder george floyd by police officers Derek Chauvin revived in minneapolis black lives matter movement and triggered an explosive wave of protests.
Heightened public attention to a system plagued by violence and discrimination led to police reform laws being rushed through in the months following Mr Floyd’s death.
Body camera footage is now made public more often, either to excuse the police or to curse them, as was the case with Tire Nichols.
Civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton said the beating of Mr Nichols was racially motivated, even though the five officers accused of his murder were also black.
“These black people think they can get away with doing it to a black person. You know you can’t get away with doing this to a white person in Tennessee. You’ll find that you can’t get away with doing it to a black person,” he said.
America is still demanding change, with protests continuing in cities across the country. But the swift charges against the officers involved in the beating of Tire Nichols and the transparency of the video may encourage them to keep the peace and convince some that justice is being served.