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Protesters march for justice in downtown Urbana

By Carley Edwards

Protesters have taken to streets across the nation to stand in solidarity over the release of police cam footage of Tyre Nichols death, including here in Urbana.

Last Sunday, the local party for Socialism and Liberation held a rally in solidarity with the Tyre Nichols family. The crowd peacefully walked the streets and called for increased police accountability in the Urbana Police Department.

Activists gathered to ask for justice for Nichols, a 29-year-old father of a four-year-old boy. His family says that he was a “beautiful soul with a creative eye.”

On Jan. 10, Nichols died three days after five Memphis police department officers beat him during a traffic stop. This took place less than 100 yards from his home.

All five officers were fired soon after the event, and are facing numerous charges including second degree murder. This week, an additional two E-M-T's and a lieutenant were fired because they violated multiple department policies.

Derick Briles, an attendee at Sunday's protest, said that the officers' arrest is not enough to prevent the violence from happening again.

Organizer Nino Brown said, "We cannot wait until another brother, another sister, another sibling dies to make the commitment to change and fight for a better world, a better world for Tyre Nichols son who has to grow up fatherless all over a traffic stop."

Protest organizers will be attending the Urbana City Council meeting on February 6 to keep advocating for change.

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