WARNING: THE FOLLOWING VIDEO CONTAINS GRAPHIC VIOLENCE THAT MAY BE DISTURBING TO VIEWERS. VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.
NEW YORK (PIX11) — Mayor Eric Adams, a former cop, feels betrayed by the Memphis police officers charged with beating Tyre Nichols to death, according to a video statement the mayor released on Saturday.
“As a human being, I am devastated. As a mayor, I am outraged,” Adams said in the video posted on Twitter. “And as someone who spent decades fighting for police diversity and against police abuse, I feel betrayed by these officers. There’s no other way to say it.”
The officers allegedly held Nichols down and repeatedly struck the Black motorist with their fists, boots, and batons as he screamed for his mother. A video of the incident is filled with violent moments showing the officers, who are also Black, chasing and pummeling Nichols and leaving him on the pavement propped against a squad car as they fist-bump and celebrate their actions.
The footage emerged one day after the officers were charged with murder in Nichols’ death.
Adams, a victim of police abuse growing up in New York City, said he turned his anger into purpose by starting an organization that fought against police abuse.
As protests erupted nationwide in the wake of the incident, the mayor also encouraged New Yorkers to express their anger and outrage peacefully.
“My message to the NYPD is to exercise restraint,” Adams said.
NYPD Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell said there will be an increased police presence around New York City during the next few days as protesters hit the streets.
“The disgraceful actions depicted in the released video are an unequivocal violation of our oath to protect those we serve, and a failure of basic human decency,” Sewell said in an NYPD statement released Saturday.