Drivers who happened to be passing by on the street BLM protesters were marching on were not happy with the severe traffic jam the protest created in the aftermath of the city releasing video footage of black police officers beating a black man.
Tyre Nichols died three days later in the hospital. Videos of the incident showed Nichols being beaten by the officers.
All five officers were fired and have been charged with second-degree murder.
Each of the drivers who were interviewed by Townhall said they understood the anger and hurt the protesters were feeling but they were only trying to get home or do their job as a trucker.
Protesters eventually stopped on the street and blocked a semi-truck. pic.twitter.com/j1oKS9qHP5
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) January 28, 2023
“I’m glad the cops are locked up. And that needs to happen every single time,” truck driver Martin, a black man, said, adding he believes Memphis Police Chief C.J. Davis has taken the right steps.
“Why block traffic though? Why block traffic? The cops are locked up. Not like they’re roaming free to do it to someone else,” he continued. “I totally understand but I just don’t understand why they’re blocking traffic, here anyway. Go to city hall or something like that.”
Protesters shut down the Memphis & Arkansas Bridge, a key route needed by locals to get and from the two states. Both lanes were blocked for nearly three hours.
An immigrant from Indian, who did not want to on video out of fear for his safety, said he was trying to get to his family in Arkansas after going grocery shopping.
“My family, my kids, are waiting. I bought all my groceries…All gas is being wasted. I come once a month to buy, now it all could be wasted,” he said. “It’s not fair.
Memphis Police did not take action to remove the protesters from the bridge and the crowd eventually left on their own. When the group started to approach a line of squad cars, the officers drove away.
While the BLM crowd did not partake in any violence or destruction, at least one store was looted in east Memphis by a separate group.
— Drew Hernandez (@DrewHLive) January 28, 2023