“The View” co-host Whoopi Goldberg and other panelists expressed outrage and called for police reform on Monday in response to the fatal beating of Tyre Nichols in Memphis.
The talk show hosts discussed the horrific camera footage showing Nichols, who was black, being beaten by five black police officers – Tadarrius Bean, 24, Demetrius Haley, 30, Emmitt Martin III, 30, Desmond Mills Jr., 32, and Justin Smith, 28.
“When will the brutality finally lead to some police reform from the ground up? Clearly it doesn’t matter if it’s a white policeman or black policeman. It is the problem with the policing itself,” Goldberg said at the start of the episode.
“Seems things don’t make sense to people unless it’s somebody they can feel or they can recognize,” Goldberg continued. “Do we need to see white people also get beaten before anybody will do anything? I’m not suggesting that, so don’t write us and tell me what a racist I am. I’m just asking, is that what people have to see in order to wake up and realize this affects us all?”
The footage released last Friday showed the events that transpired during the Jan. 7 traffic stop that led to Nichols’ death. The video showed officers pepper-spraying and beating Nichols, who was black, with their fists and batons. In the video, Nichols can be heard crying for his mother.
The five officers who were arrested were charged with second-degree murder and other offenses.
At least two of the five officers were part of an “elite” SCORPION task force tasked with combating major felonies in high-crime neighborhoods. The Memphis Police Department is disbanding the unit.
A sixth officer, Preston Hemphill, who is white, was placed on administration leave following the incident.
Co-host Sonny Hostin said she had yet to watch the video, adding she feared it showed her “worst nightmare.”
“We got a lot of energy about gas prices, and debt and inflation. I would like to see that same energy directed towards police reform because we are also paying for police brutality out of our tax dollars,” Hostin said.
Ana Navarro also weighed in with a scathing rebuke of the officers.
“What we saw, in this case, is that good cops come in any gender, any class, any color. And bad cops can be any gender, any color, and these cops were blue before they were Black,” Navarro said. “These cops were part of the SCORPION Unit. It could not have been more aptly named because they were filled with poison and hatred and the desire to kill.”
Mediaite earlier reported on the segment.