LA, nationwide protests continue in demanding justice for Tyre Nichols

Demonstrators gathered in downtown Los Angeles, West Los Angeles and Hollywood Saturday, one day after about 200 people gathered outside LAPD headquarters to protest the violent beating death of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols who died during a confrontation with five Memphis police officers.

The rallies and protests continued Saturday. First, outside LAPD headquarters downtown, where about a hundred people marched in front of the police station peacefully, as opposed to last night’s rallies, where about 200 people squared off with police, at one point getting past barricades to spray graffiti on the building. No arrests were made Friday night.

The gathering at LAPD headquarters developed following the release of graphic video depicting the fatal beating of Nichols on Jan. 7. The five Memphis police officers have since been fired and charged with murder.

"We are hurting" one of Saturday's protestors told FOX 11. Police were nearby, but stayed out of the way, giving the peaceful protesters plenty of room to express themselves.

In Hollywood, another group took over the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street, stopping traffic for a while before marching on Sunset. Their faces covered, their voices loud. As opposed to last night, again, there were no apparent confrontations with officers, who remained nearby, but out of sight, as long as the protesters kept on moving.

It seemed to be a tactical decision on the part of LAPD, which has condemned the actions of the five Memphis officers along with many law enforcement departments around the nation. 

"The problem is we know that racism is not based simply on skin color," said Pastor Stephen "Cue" Jn-Marie "We know that, yeah, they were African American (cops), but they entered into a system. So African Americans who enter into that system they have to feed their family. It's a job for them. And so being that it's a job for them, they're going to adhere to the principles of that system."

A large protest organized by Black Lives Matter is being planned for Sunday.


Friday night, several protesters knocked down metal protective barriers in front of LAPD headquarters, and someone spray-painted the word "kills" on the building under the words Los Angeles Police Department.

"Last night, a group of about 60 people gathered in front of the Los Angeles Police Headquarters Facility to hold a candlelight vigil. The vast majority conducted themselves in a civil manner," LAPD Chief Michel Moore said in a statement Saturday. "A small portion of this group, intent on disruption, later vandalized the building and two police vehicles.

"Fortunately, no police officers or demonstrators were injured. There were no arrests.

"I am proud of the leadership, professionalism and restraint shown by our people at this incident as the did not succumb to the continuous antagonistic and violent behavior of those from the larger otherwise peaceful group," Moore continued.

"I join our elected officials, community and faith leaders encouraging Angelenos to  continue to demonstrate at events in a peaceful manner."Similar demonstrations took place across the nation Friday night following the release of the video that was widely decried by citizens, elected officials and law enforcement.

Similar demonstrations took place across the nation Friday night following the release of the video that was widely decried by citizens, elected officials and law enforcement.

"The grotesque actions I watched in the video were incredibly disturbing, cruel and inhumane," Moore said in a separate statement. "To witness former Memphis police officers engaged in such unjustified and excessive force at the expense of Tyre Nichols' life angers me as a police officer, as an American.

"This behavior goes against every principle of the law enforcement profession and is in direct contradiction to the dedication and sacrifice of the vast majority of our members who strive to protect and serve. The violation of trust tarnishes our badge and has a caustic effect on the public's trust."

The Association For Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs called the video "shocking and disturbing.

"The acts committed have no explanation and illustrate disregard for human life," the group said in a statement. "Those of us in law enforcement take an oath to uphold the law, but men and women in uniform across this country also go about this daily task while respecting the public. As one of the largest law enforcement unions, ALADS and its members remain committed to working together to continue to build on the improvements we have made in the last two years. Unfortunately, this tragic incident forces all of us to pause and reflect."

Nichols died in a hospital three days after the Jan. 7 traffic stop. Five Black police officers allegedly involved in the confrontation and beating of Nichols were fired last week, and all were charged this week with second-degree murder and other offenses.

The video shows the officers repeatedly beating the man, even as he is on the ground. Toward the end, Nichols is heard screaming for his mother.

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who represents Nichols' family and also represented George Floyd's family after Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer in May 2020, has hailed Memphis officials for acting swiftly to fire the officers involved and charge them with murder. But he compared the video of Nichols' beating to the infamous 1991 beating of Rodney King by LAPD officers.

"Regrettably, it reminded us of (the) Rodney King video," Crump said. "Regrettably, unlike Rodney King, Tyre didn't survive."

King's beating led to an overhauling of LAPD management and ultimately sparked the 1992 Los Angeles riots that left more than 60 people dead and caused more than $1 billion in damage.