WARNING: The video in this story is disturbing.
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Many in marginalized communities are exhausted after the Memphis Police beating of Tyre Nichols. With officers charged with murder and the body cam video out, some are struggling to process it all.
“These officers disgraced their badge, they disgraced the African American community,” Attorney John Elmore told News 4. “Five police officers with nightsticks, with tasers, beating him down when he wasn’t fighting in the face, kicking him in the face. It’s not even close to the justifiable use of physical force.”
The series of videos again brings police interactions with minority communities to the forefront. Seeing these acts of brutality is re-traumatizing for many.
Sara Taylor is a mental health advocate. She tells us these acts of violence cannot be normalized.
“When we see that level of violence coming from those that are hired and we trust to protect us it adds a different level of fear and insecurities and distrust,” said Sara Taylor, director, 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 in and host healing circles in our community for Black and brown individuals in neighborhoods to process things like this,” added Taylor.
Elmore believes this proves better officer training needs to happen across the board.
“There is probably a culture of a ‘blue wall of silence’ where the officers were not afraid that anybody would not tell on each other,” Elmore said.
And Taylor said policing policies need serious input from those at higher risk for police brutality.
“I think so many times we bring models into our community, we fund models and we implement models without having input in the program design and model from those with lived experience,” said Taylor.
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If you or someone you know is experiencing a crisis, help is available. Erie County’s Crisis Hotline 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.