STONECREST, Ga. — A metro Atlanta pastor is calling for justice and action following the death of Tyre Nichols.
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Senior Pastor Dr. Jamal Bryant of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church held services on Sunday morning.
During the service, Bryant said he wants a ‘thorough investigation’ for all the first responders responsible and other officers who he says failed to protect and serve Nichols.
Nichols died on Jan. 10, three days after he was reportedly beaten with a baton, punched and kicked during a traffic stop.
Five officers were fired from the Memphis Police Department after video was released showing the encounter.
On Monday, a sixth officer was relieved from duty in connection to Nichols’ death.
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Bryant says citizens must hold all officers accountable, no matter the color, referencing the death of George Floyd.
“When we were participating in national protests following the murder of George Floyd, we were not protesting against White police officers. We were protesting against bad policing,” Bryant said. “It doesn’t matter what color they are if they are not operating in integrity. We have to hold all officers, who are sworn to protect and serve, accountable.”
He raised a call to action encouraging church members and the community to demand accountability for everyone who threaten the idea and practice of justice.
“We witnessed Black police officers operating in a spirit of White supremacy,” Bryant said. “Thugs are not always on street corners. Sometimes we have thugs in suits. We have thugs in uniform. If we believe Black lives matter, then we have to hold our entire community to a higher standard.”
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Bryant also led a prayer for mothers who lost a child to violence. He acknowledged that many more families may be grieving violent losses and may not have received the same attention other families have.
It’s a critical time in our community and nation. I’m tired of watching videos that make violence against our people normal. Today we declare enough is enough,” Bryant said.
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