New York State In-depth

Local attorney and mental health advocate discuss Tire Nichols video

WARNING: The video in this story is disturbing.

BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) – Many in marginalized communities are exhausted after Memphis police beat Tire Nichols. With officers facing murder charges and body cam video released, some are struggling to process it all.

“These officers dishonored their badge, they disgraced the African American community,” attorney John Elmore told News 4. “Five police officers with rubber truncheons, with tasers, beat him up when he wasn’t fighting and kicked him in the face.” It’s nowhere near the justifiable use of physical force.”

The video series once again brings to the fore police interactions with minority communities. The sight of this brutality is again traumatizing for many.

Sara Taylor is a mental health advocate. She tells us that these acts of violence cannot be normalized.

As a beautiful soul with a creative eye, Tire Nichols remembered: ‘Everyone loved him’

“When we see that level of violence coming from those who are being hired and we trust to protect ourselves, it adds another level of fear, insecurity and distrust,” said Sara Taylor, director of BIPOC Parent Mental Health Project.

Taylor said those who have issues after watching the Memphis videos need a safe space for honest discussion.

“A lot of us in the black community participate in healing circles and have healing circles in our community for black people and brown people in the neighborhood to process things like this,” Taylor added.

Elmore believes this proves that better officer training needs to happen across the board.

“There’s probably a ‘blue wall of silence’ culture where officers weren’t afraid that nobody would give themselves away,” Elmore said.

And Taylor said police policy needs serious input from those who are at higher risk of police brutality.

“I think so often we bring models into our community, we fund models, and we implement models without anyone with real-life experience being involved in the programming and the model,” Taylor said.

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If you or someone you know is in crisis, help is available. The Erie County 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

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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.

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