Twin Cities protestors demand end to police brutality following Tyre Nichols’ death

Protestors gathered outside Gov. Tim Walz’s St. Paul home Sunday afternoon to demand an end to police brutality following the death of Tyre Nichols.

Familiar sounds echoed throughout the streets of St. Paul as protestors with a variety of community groups chanted the names of people members of law enforcement have killed.

“The business continues as usual. We saw another Black man die. He was brutally beaten,” said protestor Jaelynne Palmer.

Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence, Communities United Against Police Brutality, Black Lives Matter Twin Cities Metro, Black Lives Matter Minnesota, Twin Cities Coalition for Justice and other organizations came together to demand justice for Tyre Nichols and stand in solidarity with his family.

Body camera video released Friday shows now-former Memphis police officers taking turns beating Nichols during a traffic stop.

The 29-year-old was eventually hospitalized. He died three days later.

“We’ve seen this many different times, and we have to let the world know that we are not going away,” Palmer said.

Demonstrators took their concerns to the governor’s residence and marched in the neighborhood. Their calls for change were similar to messages that swept the country following the death of George Floyd nearly three years ago.

“I thought things would be a little bit different, but there’s no reason for things to be different,” said Toshira Garraway, leader of Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence. “Many people have been killed after George Floyd, and people are not being held accountable on a higher level.”

Some speakers argued police reform is not the answer.

“When we look at how Tyre Nichols was murdered, [officers] were wearing body cameras, they used less-than-lethal weapons and the officers were Black,” organizer Brandyn Lee Tulloch said during a speech.

“I say reform will not lead us out of this because anti-Blackness is so ingrained into the institutions that there doesn’t even need to be whiteness around for it to still kill Black people.”

Protestors said they’ll keep crafting signs and raising their voices as they march toward a better future.

“I’m hopeful that things can be different, and I want people to know that it’s not about hating police. It’s about right is right and wrong is wrong,” Garraway said.

“I believe in my community. I believe in my people. I believe that the resistance will continue,” Palmer said.

Protestors gathered outside Gov Walz’s home on Jan. 29, 2023. (KSTP)
Protestors gathered outside Gov Walz’s home on Jan. 29, 2023. (KSTP)