Local attorney and mental health advocate discuss Tyre Nichols video

WARNING: The video in this story is disturbing.

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Many in marginalized communities are devastated after the beating of Tyr Nichols by Memphis police. After the officers are charged with murder and the body camera video, some are struggling to process it all.

“These officers disgraced their badge, disgraced the African-American community,” attorney John Elmore told News 4. . It’s nowhere near a justified use of physical force.”

The series of videos again brings police interactions with minority communities to the fore. Seeing these acts of brutality is re-traumatizing for many.

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Sarah Taylor is a mental health advocate. She tells us that these acts of violence cannot be normalized.

“When we see that level of violence coming from those who are engaged and trusted to protect us, it adds a different level of fear, uncertainty and mistrust,” said Sarah Taylor, director of the BIPOC Parent Mental Health Project.

Taylor said those struggling after watching the Memphis videos need a safe space for honest discussions.

“Many of us in the black community participate and host healing circles in our community for black and brown individuals in neighborhoods to process these kinds of things,” Taylor added.

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Elmore believes this proves that better training of board officers needs to happen.

“There was probably a ‘blue wall of silence’ culture where the officers weren’t afraid that someone wouldn’t tell each other,” Elmore said.

And Taylor said police policies need serious input from those most at risk of police brutality.

“I think a lot of times we bring models into our community, fund models and implement models without having input into the design of the program and the model from those with lived experience,” Taylor said.

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If you or someone you know is experiencing a crisis, help is available. The Erie County Crisis Line is available 24 hours a day: 716-834-3131. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is also available 24 hours a day: 1-800-273-8255. For more information, visit CrisisServices.org.

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Patrick Ryan is an award-winning reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.


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