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DR teams provide support as Memphis braces for protests

Mississippi and Tennessee Disaster Relief volunteers were called in to provide support for first responders in Memphis on Friday (Jan. 27). — Photo by Tim Ellsworth / The Baptist and Reflector

MEMPHIS (BP) – Southern Baptist Disaster Relief teams from Tennessee and Mississippi are providing support for first responders Friday (Jan. 27) in Memphis as the city braces for possible protests related to the reported beating and death of a man who died a few days following his arrest on Jan. 7. Since the incident, five former police officers have been charged with murder.

Authorities are expected to release video footage of the arrest of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols on Friday evening. Nichols, who died Jan. 10, was taken into custody following a traffic stop for reckless driving that led to confrontations with police officers. The details involving Nichols’ encounter and death continue to be investigated.

Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis told CNN that bodycam footage shows police officers “defied humanity” in their handling of Nichols. “You’re going to see a disregard for human life,” she said. The video will reportedly be released in four separate clips Friday evening.

Nichols’ mother RowVaughn Wells is calling for a peaceful protest in the city once the video is released.

Meanwhile, DR team volunteers from Mississippi are preparing meals and serving as chaplains, while a Tennessee team will provide a shower and laundry unit for an estimated 250 police officers, who are being brought in as an extra precaution for security.

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  • Tim Ellsworth/Baptist and Reflector