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District Attorney Says, Memphis Will Release Video Of Tyre Nichols Arrest After 7:00 P.M. ET Tomorrow; Five Fired Memphis Police Officers Will Be Charged With Second-Degree Murder In Tyre Nichols' Death; Tyre Nichols' Mother Calls For Peaceful Protests After Video Is Released Tomorrow; Memphis Police Releases Police Beating Video Of Tyre Nichols; Memphis Police Scorpion Unit Under Review; Funeral Service For Tyre Nichols, Rev. Al Sharpton To Deliver Eulogy. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired January 27, 2023 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: So, we have new developments tonight to tell you about two sheriff's deputies taken off duty in addition to the five cops charged with murder in connection with Tyre Nichols' fatal encounter with police.
So, with me now is Steve Mulroy, he's the Shelby County district attorney whose department is prosecuting these five cops. Thank you for joining us Mr. Mulroy.
Can you talk to us your reaction to these two sheriff's deputies now?
STEVE MULROY, SHELBY COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Well, I can't really speak about those kinds of details because there is an ongoing investigation and there's a pending prosecution. We know that there were two deputies that came on the scene afterwards and they have been relieved of duty, pending administrative investigation by the sheriff department. It is important to note that that administrative investigation was entirely separate from any investigation that we are doing with the district attorney's office.
LEMON: So, why is the sheriff now just reviewing the video? The statement says that Sheriff Floyd Bonner Jr. said that having watched the videotape for the first time tonight, I have concerns about the two deputies who appeared on the scene following the physical confrontation between police and Tyre Nichols. I have launched an internal investigation. Are members of the police department just seeing this video now in the sheriff department?
MULROY: So, he is the elected sheriff of the Shelby County, which is a county office, and separate from the Memphis Police Department. And, yes, you are correct, Don, the sheriff himself and the sheriff's department people, the county folks were not shown that video that the MPD had, the Memphis Police Department had.
LEMON: Now that this video has been released, your reaction to when you first saw the video in this encounter with Tyre Nichols.
MULROY: When I first saw this video, which, of course, was quite some time ago, or several weeks ago, anyway, my reaction was heartbreaking. I was just heartbroken for what happened to Tyre Nichols and my thoughts immediately went to the family of Tyre Nichols. And, of course, I imagine what it would be like if they had to watch the video themselves. LEMON: Each of these former police officers has been charged with,
among other charges, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault, second-degree murder. So, how did you arrive at those specific charges? If you look at the videotape, what shows you in that videotape that you feel that you can prosecute on those specific charges?
MULROY: Well, again, without trying to characterize the video and there's a pending prosecution, I can just say this, second-degree murder in Tennessee requires a knowing killing, and a knowing killing means at a minimum that the defendant knew that the result of death reasonably certain. And we believe that both of the video and the evidence as a whole will show that the defendants had to have known at least that it was reasonably certain that what they were doing would cause death.
And although the video indicates that each person acted in a somewhat different way they nonetheless were acting together, and I believe all of their actions contributed to the death of Tyre Nichols, which is why we are charging all of them with the same charges.
I think aggravated assault is pretty obvious. The kidnapping charge is just the fact that I think, as Laura Coates was describing to you earlier, regardless of whatever position you take about, whether the initial stop was legal, there came a point at which this was an unlawful detention. That unlawful detention was false imprisonment. It was confinement without authorization of law, which restricted someone's liberty, and it became aggravated kidnapping once bodily injury occurred and also given the fact that they had deadly weapons on them.
LEMON: Considering this is fairly new with the release of the video the sheriff just now seeing it, putting two people on administrative leave, do you think the investigation will grow? Could there be others charged, others involved?
MULROY: Well, as I said the day the press conference went, I announce the charges. Nothing that we did that day in terms of the existing indictment at all concludes us filing other charges later on.
LEMON: Steve Mulroy, thank you, sir. I appreciate you joining us.
MULROY: Thank you, Don. Good night. Stay warm.
LEMON: Good night. Thank you very much.
Still to come, reaction from the Memphis city council member, also more in the action being taken against those two sheriff's deputies who were on the scene after the beating of Tyre Nichols. That is next.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: We're bringing you special live coverage in the wake of Memphis authorities releasing video of the fatal beating by police of Tyre Nichols three weeks ago this weekend.
LEMON: Hello, once again, John. In just the last hour or so, more fall out here. We have learned that the Shelby County Sheriff's Department has now suspended two deputies who were at the scene after the violence and have launch their own investigation.
That is in addition to the five fired Memphis officers who were charged yesterday with second-degree murder for what you see them do on camera to Tyre Nichols.
Now, as we have been doing all evening here, we have a warning for you. What you will see is a young man being beaten to death. John, it is graphic. The language is no less ugly as well.
BERMAN: Again, what is most notable among other things, Don, amongst the brutality, is that if you're trying to figure out who is calm, it appears to be Tyre Nichols there. It is the officers who have their emotions at 11 or more there and seem to be escalating the situation almost every step of the way.
LEMON: Yes. It wasn't a, sir, can you show me your license and registration. That was they went from 0 to 100 and less than five seconds or just immediately. And, John, what we saw there, that was the first video. That was the beginning. As we know, it gets much, much worse after that.
I'm sorry that was a little bit later, but it did get worst after that because we see Tyre Nichols, they propped him up against a car, he passes out, falls in the ground. And according to our Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the brain swelling there caused him to go in and out of consciousness.
I want to get to our developing news with CNN Shimon Prokupecz. He's back with us with more on the news that broken just in the last hour, two local sheriff deputies now relieved of duty pending an investigation. Shimon what is going on? What happened here?
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Well, for some reason, the sheriff who is the sheriff of this town, is a leading law enforcement official of this --
LEMON: Of the county, Shelby County.
PROKUPECZ: -- Shelby County, has now view this video, and now realizes that he has deputies there, two deputies, he says, and they are now placed on leave as a result of what happened here.
So, we are 20 days into this and now we have two more law enforcement officials, deputy sheriffs who are now on leave. We do not know why. It doesn't really explain anything, but they are on paid leave now pending this investigation. This is the first time we are hearing of these sheriff deputies being there.
When you look at the video, Don, you could see the number of law enforcement officials that show up, don't intervene, don't help Tyre Nichols as he is laying there beaten, clearly severely injured. So, now we have more sheriff's deputies.
Also what is interesting is, today we learned these EMTs -- two EMTs, which we knew about several days ago, were put on leave. The fire department hasn't seen this video. So, now, 20 days later, they themselves are now launching an investigation to figure out what happened.
So, it is so much in this town it seems that is yet unknown, I feel like, in this county by officials about their personnel who were on scene, a lot of the information perhaps not being shared. So, still many more, it would seem, investigations the need to take place so that we can figure out exactly everything that happened.
LEMON: You've got the five officers and now you have these two members of the Shelby County Sheriff's Department and then you also have the five officers, of course, and the two people who were involved from the fire department. So, according to the D.A., this could grow. He said nothing concludes --
PROKUPECZ: Yes, and we should listen to him, definitely.
LEMON: Yes, an escalation --
PROKUPECZ: And there is a DOJ investigation. What will that bring? And if they start really digging into this police department, were going to see a lot more stuff.
LEMON: We'll be following.
John, the video has just been released, so it could be beginning of it for some people involved. As you know now, it is a beginning for at least two sheriff's deputies whose superior had not seen the video and has now putting them on administrative leave.
BERMAN: Yes. Don, I want to pick up right there, John Miller is back with us, Joey Jackson, Charles Ramsey as well. Also with us, CNN Law Enforcement Analyst, the former FBI deputy director, Andrew McCabe, also CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr Sanjay Gupta.
John Miller, first to you. Just what they were talking about right there, these two sheriff's deputies put on leave now after the video is released.
Shimon and Don were both asking, well, why would that happen? You've got some possible answers. JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: I will tell you exactly why that would happen, because the story almost tells itself. You have got the elected sheriff of Shelby County watching on our air or some other show this video played and realizes for the first time watching this video on live television that two deputy sheriffs from his agency are there on the scene.
That triggers a bunch of questions, which is what were they doing there on the scene? When did they get there? What part of this did they see, witness, take part in, standby for? Do they have an implication in this failure to intervene question? But more than any of that, John, is why am I finding out about this by watching it on live television?
They should have told their supervisor, hey, that thing that everybody is talking about. We were there. We've heard it on the radio. We've rolled up as backup, whatever, but that should have gone from their sergeant to their lieutenant, to the senior deputy, to the sheriff himself. And the reason he is taking them off patrol is we are going to go through an entire inquiry. What did you see? When did you see it? What did you do? What did you not do? And they're not going be back on patrol until he is comfortable with all those answers.
BERMAN: Chief Ramsey, if we could expand this a little bit now to suspended sheriff's deputies, the five officers charged, but among other things, former officers charged with murder, two, I think, EMTs on some kind of leave here. As you have now seen the video, how much bigger do you think this web will extend over the next few days because there are a lot of other people, law enforcement in this video?
CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, I do not know how much -- how far it's going to extend in terms of criminal charges, but certainly administrative charges for failing to take any action. And I do believe that will be the next phase internally within the police department.
You know, you have to watch that video several times. Every time I see it, one, it seems like it gets worse every time you see it, but you also pick up different things that different people are doing. And that is what they are doing now.
You have to really take your time and go through the tape to really determine who was there, what did they do, or more importantly what did they fail to do and then take the appropriate action, whether that be criminal or administrative. And I think a lot of that is going be administrative.
BERMAN: Yes. They're going to piece together everyone who was in that video. They're going to get a timeline of it and, no doubt, they will learn more.
Andrew McCabe, I want to read you a text I got from a friend of mine who happens to be the chief of police in Burlington, Vermont. John Miller has been getting text like this also from people in law enforcement. And, again, this is people who were in this business, like you were for decades, says -- the chiefs says, what a horrific, ugly incident. I just watched it with a room full of appalled, baffled cops. Again, this is coming from people in the business right now who almost can't believe what they have seen. Your reaction to that?
ANDREW MCCABE, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Yes, John. I mean, there's 800,000 sworn law enforcement officers in this country, and I guarantee you, the vast majority of those who are watching these videos, those who have seen them, and they're reacting the same way you and I are and everyone else is who has been on the show tonight. It is absolute vicious savagery.
You are seeing things on this video that are not taught in any police academy in this country. And so it is. As a member of the law enforcement community, it is disgusting, it is embarrassing and it really drags the entire community down. But I think it also speaks loudly to this question of an undercurrent of toxic culture in our community and the law enforcement community that leads to situations like this.
You can see from the absolute first minute of that video, the response at the traffic stop, where you have police officers bailing out of their cars at 100 percent intensity level, screaming profanities, guns drawn, racing up to the vehicle before they really have any legitimate way of understanding what they're facing. It's impossible to imagine that. Whatever led up to this traffic stop could provoke a response to that nature.
And at that point, it's game on. There's absolute no restraint at any level. It's just -- it's horrific. So, I understand why you're getting those texts. I'm getting the same text messages.
BERMAN: Joey, Andrew just brought up the first video, the first moment we see the officers were already incredibly revved up there, Tyre Nichols, not so at all.
From a legal perspective, again, a least many of us are asking the questions, what happened before this? From a legal perspective, how much does that matter?
JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: So, I think it is troubling for a couple reasons, right? So, legally, the first question you are going to ask is why they stopped him in the first instance. Was this is pre- textual stop, pre-textual stop, meaning without basis, you're just looking to find something, or giving the police the benefit of the doubt. Was he engaged in this reckless driving that we're speaking of, right? That gives you the ability and basis legally for the stop, but then everything after that has to be legally justified in proper.
And then the other question has to be, right, and more for law enforcement personnel, Chief Ramsey, perhaps, John, is tactically speaking, right? And I don't even think the experts need to answer that. Is it an appropriate way to engage with someone when you are throwing F bombs at them? How about, sir, we are stopping you because, may I see your license or registration? We have reason to believe A, B and C, get out of the car, get out of the car, get out of the car. And so that escalation of it, John, makes it turn right from the outset into an encounter, which is not only dangerous but, of course, ends up to be deadly.
So, I think we are going to see an examination of all that, the predicate for the stop, whether was lawful and legitimate, what was the encounter like, could the encounter had been different, what the actions that were taken by the police with respect to getting him out of the car, was that necessary with regard to the force used to get them on the ground, with regard to the force used in the initial accounts, et cetera. So, we're going to see all of that play out.
But I think this one thing which everyone is agreeing upon, is that this did not need to happen. Mr. Nichols should still be alive and that the tactics and approach of these police officers was patently deplorable.
BERMAN: Sanjay, thank you for patience. I've waited to come to you because I want to dig into this a little bit with you. I want to put up some video and then get your take on what we are looking at, get your take as a medical expert. So, let's watch.
This is the camera, sky camera from up above here. And what you are going to see, this is within that four-minute period where these officers seemed to strike him, I think, nine times. I believe that is what we are looking at here, or this may be something else. Can you guys tell me in control room what we're seeing here?
Okay this is different. Then let me ask you the question in a different way, Sanjay. This is a not being given to him. This is EMTs apparently on the scene. What are you seeing them doing or not doing?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: So, this was one of the more troubling parts of the whole thing that's also troubling, but I looked at this very carefully and sort of marked the time because there is a time code on this video.
And the last time that Mr. Nichols is assaulted, is kicked, is around 8:33. It is not until 8:41 that we see a -- I think it looks like a fire truck, I think, EMS vehicle pull up. And nothing happens until 8:55 where someone actually assesses Mr. Nichols. So, at that point, nearly 23 minutes has passed, and it is another seven or eight minutes before they actually bring out a gurney.
So, this is about a half-an-hour, John, roughly where you have somebody who is critically ill. We know now that he was -- had all these various injuries and he is really not getting any medical care at all at that point, and that was obviously concerning.
But when you watch the beating, the assault, I watched this with some other medical examiners from around the country and have been talking to colleagues all night about this, and there are just so many mechanisms of injury that he seems to have suffered here. A lot of people pay attention to the head injuries.
He was kicked in the head. He was punched in the face and the head several times. He seemed to be coming in and out of consciousness when he was leaned up against that vehicle, which could be -- we don't know for sure -- could be a sign that he was starting to develop brain swelling. The brain is the only organ in the body that when it swells it has nowhere to really go because of the skull. And that is why people will start to develop a loss of consciousness and ultimately can lead to death.
But it's also he's this very thin guy and he was getting kicked in the torso and in the abdomen and in the chest. You could have bleeding into abdominally and the chest as well and to thoracic. So, there's all of these potential mechanisms. When you are faced down, you can have a component of obstructing the airway, a form of strangulation. We don't know.
But I will say this. He was in the hospital, as we do know, for I think three days, essentially. When he went in, he probably was scanned. He has got brain scans, body scans. So, there is probably more information about exactly what all the injuries led to based on those scans and those other things in the hospital. They may have had procedures done in the hospital. We don't know.
But it was brutal to watch, John.
I just going to tell you, I'm a trauma neurosurgeon. I often see patients who come in the hospital after terrible injuries, but I have never seen the injuries sort of take place like that, to see that sort of assault, that sort of beating.
BERMAN: And then that gap of time, Sanjay, I don't know if there is any way of knowing, but the 30 minutes or 20 minutes, depending on how you measure it based on the injuries that we know he may have had, what kind of a difference could earlier treatment have made?
GUPTA: We don't know. You are right, John. It's tough to say, but he should have been in a hospital. He should have been taken to a hospital right away. That is what we do in hospitals. We take care of patients with horrific injuries. And that would have been his best chance.
Again, I don't want to speculate that it would have somehow definitively changed the outcome here, but because these were terrible injuries, but reducing pressure on the brain, making sure that the brain does not continue to swell, addressing bleeding, replacing blood, that is what you do in a trauma hospital, and that is where he should have been.
BERMAN: Yes. It's a great point there. You don't need the speculate to know that he should have been in a hospital.
All right, Sanjay, everyone, standby, again, if you will.
Up next, back to Memphis, Don is going to be joined by a Memphis city councilwoman about what her community is going through in the wake of these videos coming out. Also, the pastor of the church for funeral services will be held for Tyre Nichols next week. That is CNN Tonight continues.
LEMON: We're back here now in Memphis with our special live coverage. The city releasing videos of the deadly police beating of Tyre Nichols. A really tough night. I am joined now by Memphis City councilwoman Patrice Robinson. Councilwoman, we are so grateful that you are here to help us get through this and talk about what's on this horrible video. It was released earlier so that you could see it. You saw it at noon today, correct?
PATRICE ROBINSON, MEMPHIS CITY COUNCIL: Yes, I did.
LEMON: And now for the general public to see. What's your reaction?
ROBINSON: I was saddened, but I knew it was going to be difficult because I am a mother and I have a son, and my heart went out to the family and the community and all the families that have lost loved ones to policing that's not favorable. I am just exasperated and that is the truth.
LEMON: What is that? There's a big gasp. What was that for?
ROBINSON: This has really been tough for us as a city, for me personally. This has been tough for our community and I'm getting messages from all over the United States and Canada. I have people reaching out saying do we need to come to Memphis to help? What can we do? Do we need to march? What-- what can we do to help?
And then I have other messages that say that they are not coming to visit Memphis anymore and I don't want people to give up on us because we had this one snafu. I do believe that we have good people right here in Memphis. We have some great police officers, but the ones that I observed on today are questionable.
LEMON: So, then what -- what needs to happen? Because you are -- you're in government. You're an elected official.
LEMON: It's going to take legislation in order to change things. So, the what needs to happen to make sure that people are stopped for things like a traffic violation that it doesn't end with death?
ROBINSON: The first thing that we saw was -- we have no reason to know why they even stopped him. We watched the video from the camera within the vehicle. And they pulled him over. We couldn't even tell why they even pulled him over. But my concern is when you are stopped for, if that's what actually happened, if you're stopped for any violation for driving, it should never even end up between with you getting out of the vehicle unless you have a gun, and we didn't see any of that. We didn't even see them tell him why they even stopped. They just stopped, got out their car (inaudible), and they went over to the car and just snatched him out of the vehicle. LEMON: Do you know of any other issues with the SCORPION unit?
ROBINSON: No, I have not been made aware of any other issues with the SCORPION unit.
LEMON: The family is saying that it should be disbanded. The police department is saying the unit is not the problem. They need the unit in order to fight crime. It's the officers. Do you agree with that?
ROBINSON: First of all, we have the information that the SCORPION unit was just a unit to help in particular areas. However, we have several other organizations. It might be the name of it that may need to change, but the function of it may need to be the same. Well, we don't know that until we get in and investigate.
And I know that if we all start measuring what we have in our community especially with police, when they make mistakes, when they don't do their job or they don't follow the rules, we need to know that as a community. And I love to see as a legislator a report card on the police and what's going on within, not just the numbers. See, all we get are the numbers.
ROBINSON: We had 300 and some deaths this year. And when I get a report from my district, I find out how many people rob the bank or how many people stole a car. That's not what I need to know. The community is demanding that we know what's going on the inside and how does it operate to the benefit of our citizens.
LEMON: Before I let you go. You were talking about the community and certain areas. You know that crime is high. It's a black -- they are supposed to protect and serve this mostly black community. It was all black officers.
ROBINSON: Yes, and that's sad. And let me tell you why. That tells me that we don't love ourselves. That's all I can say about that. We have got to learn to treat each other in a manner that is courteous with respect and allows everyone to have some dignity at the end of the day. What I saw on the video lacked all three of those.
LEMON: Thank you. I know you have been standing out here. I appreciate your patience because it's freezing. Thank you so much. Thank you so much, councilwoman.
ROBINSON: We got a lot of work to do.
LEMON: Patrice Robinson.
ROBINSON: Yes. Thank you.
LEMON: And coming up here with more on the scene here im Memphis and the impact this moment could have on the city and the nation. We're back in a moment with our special live coverage. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: We're back now live with the law enforcement and the administrative fall out spreading since the Tyre Nichols's videos came out this evening and peaceful protest happening here. I just want to talk more about the broader impact. I'm joined now by CNN political commentator and former South Carolina Democratic state lawmaker, that's Bakari Sellers. Also, CNN political commentator Van Jones, former special adviser to President Barack Obama. Gentlemen, good evening to you. Welcome back, Van. How are you doing, Bakari? You've been watching this all day. What's up?
BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Exhausted I think like most black folks who are watching the events play out in Memphis. We have been here before, the three of us have been here before and trying to give words to the trauma. Trying to give words to the brutality. Trying to maintain your emotions. Trying to maintain your anger and still be able to explain with some nuanced to people watching particularly white folks, white Americans who are watching why we have this pain, why this keeps happening and our refusal to address the systemic issues that cause what we saw on this video tonight.
LEMON: Van, when you watch this absolutely disturbing video. We see the officers not only using excessive force but they're chatting and they're joking about the whole encounter. I just want to play this video of the officers. This is moments after he was beaten. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Wow! Van, what's your reaction?
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It doesn't sound like professional police officers to quote you, Don Lemon. You know, I think this is the -- this is everybody's nightmare. I think as a parent, you know, I've got kids that are not dissimilar to Tyre. You know, Tyre, you know, his mom called him a free spirit. What she mean? He is a skateboarder. He's a Starbucks aficionado and he likes taking Instagram photographs of sunsets. I mean, this is not somebody who is in the life.
You know, I've got kids that are like that. He is a good kid. And he got in a situation, he got scared. You know, he is trying to talk these folks down. He's saying yes sir. He's saying all right. He is trying to calm the cops down and they hit him in the face with pepper spray.
And you and I know what that is. That is a bear repellent. You're supposed to squirt that stuff and a grizzly bear will run the other way. And he panicked. And there was no reason for them to have used that level of force against him when he was trying to comply.
And then you are in this nightmare scenario. And you pray this doesn't happen to your own son. You pray this doesn't happen to your own children. And so, this is very personal for us. We see ourselves in his face and his voice. He was doing what we tell our kids to do. He was saying, okay. I'm trying to calm you down. Yes sir. And it didn't work. And it didn't work. And that's the nightmare I think for a lot of us.
LEMON: And Bakari, listen, you know where he was running. I mean, he was running -- they say 100 yards away from his -- he was running home to his momma to try -- he was, and -- which was running to safety. And they caught up with him before he could get there. And even in the midst of all that, he's screaming, Mom! Mom! Help!
He was crying out for help while the officers were calling him, you know, berating him and calling him names and saying, oh, as if your mom can hear you and saying, I'm going to, you know, taze or baton the F out of you.
SELLERS: I mean, yeah. I mean, we've heard that before. I think probably, unfortunately, one of the more famous echoes we hear from that is George Floyd, but let's be completely and 100 percent honest here. This is something that will not stop happening in this country until people actually come up with a plan.
It's not just pouring more money into training. It's not just community policing as we say it all the time. It's not adding more police. There is something fundamentally wrong with the system of policing in this country. And it doesn't matter whether or not you are black or white. The commonality and I think Van will (inaudible) that goes from Emmett Till all the way to what we saw today back to George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, all of the names that we can imagine, is that the common theme is that these black folks did not get the benefit of their humanity.
And until police officers, and the way that we police our communities. Until they start to see young men, young boys, regardless of whether or not they (inaudible) or regardless of whether or not they are free spirits or anyone in between as actual human beings, because the way they treated him today was -- or the video we saw, the way they treated him, was less than human.
The way that the officers beat him, less than human. The way they didn't even care for him, less than human. And the crazy part about this, Van and Don, is I dare say, that if it was me or you, we would have gotten our ass beat the same way. And that for me is the problem because many times officers, individuals in their uniforms do not see us as human.
LEMON: Van, Bakari mentioned George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, as you said, all the way from Emmett Till and then there's Rodney King, you know. Benjamin Crump has been comparing this beating to the 1991 beating of Rodney King. You were one of the people arrested at the protest, I believe, that followed King's beating more than 30 years ago. Listen, there is a comparison in that, you know, in the beating, but I
think this one stands on its own and doesn't necessarily need that direct comparison. So, what needs to change now? What needs to be done?
JONES: Well, I think that, you know, any human system that does not have adequate oversights, checks and balances, will tend towards corruption and abuse.
That's why we have, you know, meat inspectors. That's why you have building inspectors. It's not that you hate all the construction workers, you hate all the butchers, you just know. If nobody is giving real oversight, eventually the bad actors will take over and ruin everything. And so, if you will understand the need for meat inspectors, understand the need for building inspectors, you understand the need to real oversight of police, I'm proud of the folks in Memphis that they fought and got the rules changed so that they could expedite justice in a situation like this.
This didn't come out of nowhere. It came out of a struggle, that they were able to then fire these cops. The problem is that in other cities, that those -- because they have not been won, and so you can see, unfortunately, white officers doing this sort of stuff and then they are still on the force a year later. They got desk duty and still getting paid.
And so, I think that the victory that was won in Memphis to change the rules so that police force can remove people quickly needs to be spread across the country so it does -- people start thinking, I'm going to lose my job tomorrow if I act like this. I might be in jail next week if I act like this. If that doesn't happen, we will see this over and over and over again.
LEMON: Van, gentlemen, I appreciate you. Bakari, you as well. You guys know how I feel about you. Thank you so much. I'll see you guys soon. There is a lot more straight ahead. We're going to talk to the pastor who will be presiding over Tyre Nichols' funeral next. His thoughts as we continue to process what we have witnessed tonight together. That's coming up.
LEMON: I want to talk about the funeral services of what we call home going ceremonies. It's going to be held next week for Tyre Nichols at the Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church here in Memphis. The Reverend J. Lawrence Turner is the church's pastor and he joins us now. Thank you so much for joining us. As you said, this is a home going ceremony.
J. LAWRENCE TURNER, PASTOR, MISSISSIPPI BOULEVARD CHRISTIAN CHURCH: Yes.
LEMON: It's going to be at your church.
LEMON: You're going to be the officiant here. What are the family's wishes?
TURNER: The family has requested -- request have been very simple. Celebrate Tyre's life, create a space for healing to begin, and I'm sure with Reverend Sharpton giving the eulogy, there will be a call for justice and to engage the continued struggle for the kind of policing in this country that we want to see.
LEMON: Did they talk to you about how they want him to be remembered?
TURNER: Not at length. They were in the midst of a number of things. When we spoke, it was on the day the charges were going to be announced. And so, they were wanting to focus directly on the things I needed from them, so that we could begin to shape the service in a way that would be fitting to their wishes.
LEMON: So, in shaping that service, I would imagine it is having the pulse of what is going on. You said you've been paying attention to the interviews with the family. You've been in touch with them, the interviews with the police department, the police chief. And so, how is that affect -- does that affect anything that you are doing?
TURNER: Well, this has been a continued experience all this week, in meetings not just with city officials, but also with people who are on the ground, who are activists, leaders in this community and other clergy, wanting to know how we best navigate our community through this.
And so, as we kind of come to this moment tonight and witness what was on that video, and repair for the home going celebration, we really want to lean into the healing ministry of the church and the faith community.
LEMON: You have been, if I can just be really candid, you know, we've been talking about humanity and inhumanity, and you believe that some of these interviews, and bringing the cameras here and allowing people to talk, that it is allowing them to be human. Is that what -- is that -- am I getting that right?
TURNER: Yes. Very rarely do we see on television persons express their emotions, and there are persons who are sitting at home watching these interviews, who need to know it's okay to feel what they're feeling, to express these things. And so, as I've watched interviews throughout the day, where some people have cried from Tyre's parents up to even some of the clergy and city officials who have interviewed on television, I believe it has been helpful to let people know it's okay in this moment not to feel okay, but we are going to work through this together.
LEMON: It's okay to be human.
TURNER: Yes. LEMON: Not to apologize for crying.
TURNER: That's right.
LEMON: Thank you, Reverend Turner.
TURNER: Thank you so much.
LEMON: We appreciate it. And thank you for welcoming us here and being so open and candid. Appreciate it.
So, when we return, the executive director of the Memphis NAACP is going to react to the videos of another brutal beating and another black man by police in America.
LEMON: And we're back now live from Memphis where tonight the city released video showing the deadly police beating of Tyre Nichols. And joining us now is Vickie Terry, the executive director of the city's branch of the NAACP. Vickie, thank you very much for joining us this evening.
VICKIE TERRY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MEMPHIS NAACP: Thank you.
LEMON: The last we spoke we were anticipating the video coming out. It had not come out. You have not seen it. You have since seen the video. What's your reaction to it?
TERRY: I was horrified. I mean, truly it just -- it just -- it brought me to tears. I was just in tears. My stomach was in turmoil and I just can't imagine what was going through the heads of those officers.
LEMON: You talked to us before about changes that the NAACP wanted, and quite frankly, now, I would imagine demanding them. And what are those?
TERRY: Of course, they've got to change. They've got to reform, you know, clean house. They've got to do some things differently. Some of the things that we are asking them to do as far as police reform, reimagining, you know, the police system, those things have got to happen.
And we, guys, as citizens and community activists, politicians, everybody in this city needs to be a part of it. We need to take part and make sure those things happen.
LEMON: The NAACP is supporting the family?
TERRY: Of course, we are.
LEMON: How soon? TERRY: Of course. I was with them today in their press conference and I told the mom, I said, I will take responsibility of trying to pass this Tyre Nichols law. That's one thing that I'm going to make sure that I do as far as being involved in political efficacy.
LEMON: Look, I don't want to get ahead of ourselves and I'm sure you don't want, either.