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Biden 'outraged' after watching 'horrific' video of Tyre Nichols beating

The president's comments came shortly after Memphis officials released video of the Jan. 7 traffic stop. Nichols, 29, died three days later.
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President Joe Biden on Friday night said he was "outraged and deeply pained" after watching videos of the brutal beating of Tyre Nichols by Memphis police.

In a statement shortly after the videos were released, Biden called the images "horrific."

"It is yet another painful reminder of the profound fear and trauma, the pain, and the exhaustion that Black and Brown Americans experience every single day," he said.

"The footage that was released this evening will leave people justifiably outraged," Biden added, while urging those who seek justice "not to resort to violence or destruction."

Earlier on Friday, Biden spoke by phone with Nichols' mother and stepfather, RowVaughn Wells and Rodney Wells, who were allowed a private viewing of the video on Monday.

During his conversation with them, Biden expressed his condolences for the 29-year-old’s death and commended the family’s courage and strength, the White House said.

“This is devastating,” Biden said, addressing Rodney Wells, according to a Washington Post video of family members talking to Biden.

“Yes, sir,” Wells responded.

“I know people will say, will say that to you. But I do know," Biden continued, remarking on his own loss of family members in tragic circumstances.

Biden talked about how he lost family members in an accident “when a tractor trailer broadsided" their car, killing his first wife Neilia Hunter Biden and their 13-month-old daughter Naomi in 1972, just after Biden was elected to the Senate. In 2015, Biden lost his son Beau to brain cancer.

Speaking to reporters before boarding Marine One to spend the weekend at Camp David, Biden said he was "very concerned" about the potential for violence after the release of the police video.

He said that in addition to "innocent people's lives" being at stake, “It has a lot to say and do with the image of America. It has a lot to do with whether or not we are the country we say we are."

"We're a country of law and order" where peaceful protest can occur and "courts make the judgment," Biden added.

In a statement Thursday, Biden expressed his condolences to Nichols' family and the Memphis community. "Tyre’s family deserves a swift, full, and transparent investigation into his death," he said.

Biden also noted that deadly encounters with law enforcement have "disparately impacted Black and Brown people."

"To deliver real change, we must have accountability when law enforcement officers violate their oaths, and we need to build lasting trust between law enforcement, the vast majority of whom wear the badge honorably, and the communities they are sworn to serve and protect," Biden said.