NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — NYPD officers arrested at least one protester at a demonstration against police brutality in Times Square on Friday after the Memphis Police Department released body camera footage of five officers fatally beating 29-year-old Tyre Nichols to death.
Video posted on social media showed a person stomping the windshield of a police car before being dragged away by officers. An eye witness told 1010 WINS she saw three arrests total, but isn't sure if there were more.
A group of about 100 demonstrators gathered in Times Square and roughly 100 others met at Union Square. Both groups gathered at 7 p.m. — the time that Memphis police chose to release the video.
The two groups merged near Madison Square Garden, one protester reported, and eventually marched back to Times Square. It was after the demonstrators returned to Times Square that the arrests took place.
The NYPD did not confirm whether arrests had taken place as of 9:30 p.m. Friday.
Nichols, a lifelong skateboarder, a father to a four-year-old son and a FedEx employee, was beaten, pepper sprayed and tased to death by five officers during a Jan. 7 traffic stop in Memphis. The officers killed him 100 yards away from his mother’s house. His final words were calling out to her, his lawyers believe.
The police officers who attacked him — Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmit Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith — were fired and charged with murder.
A third protest at Grand Central station demanding the city close Rikers Island after 19 people died in Department of Correction custody or shortly after release last year also carried signs protesting the death of Tyre Nichols and other people killed by police.
Mayor Eric Adams held a press conference on the killing in anticipation of protests.
“Officers must follow the law and be held accountable for their actions. Otherwise, there is no law,” said Adams. “If you need to express your anger and outrage, do so peacefully. My message to the NYPD has been and will continue to be to practice restraint.”
Adams said he was briefed alongside other mayors by the White House, and that he met with New York elected officials to discuss the killing.
City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams released a statement on the attack.
“Tyre should be alive, and the police brutality that took his life is deplorable and demands accountability,” she said. “We have lost too many of our children, mothers, fathers and family members to police violence in this country and it must end.”
The New York State Police issued a statement joining officials across the country in condemning the killing.
“Having reviewed the video of the incident involving Tyre Nichols, we strongly condemn the attack carried out by those five former members of the Memphis Police Department,” read the press release. “We are outraged and sickened, and we also understand the frustration being felt by the public.”