View host Whoopi Goldberg has weighed in on the row over Tire Nichols’ death, asking if we “have to see white people getting beaten up” before changes are made to policing.
Goldberg insisted she was not inciting violence with her argument – after the 29-year-old black man was beaten to death by cops – but called for meaningful police reform.
Nichols’ death sparked outrage across the world after graphic body camera footage showed him being fatally beaten by five police officers in Memphis as he repeatedly cried out for his mother earlier this month.
His parents also appeared on The View on Monday to pay tribute to their son who touched everyone he knew “in a positive way”.
The View host Whoopi Goldberg asked if people need to see ‘white people being beaten up’ by officers so the police can be reformed
The dad and avid skateboarder was arrested for alleged “reckless driving” on January 7. He died in hospital three days after his attack.
Activists have drawn comparisons between his death and those of George Floyd and Elijah McClain – two black men also killed at the hands of US cops.
Speaking on The View on Monday morning, Goldberg wondered if seeing white people being beaten by officers would move the debate forward.
‘I’m not suggesting that. So don’t write to tell me how racist I am,” she added.
“I’m just asking, what do people need to see to wake up and realize this is affecting us all?”
Goldberg made the statements during a segment on The View on Monday to discuss Nichols’ death.
Parents of both Nichols appeared on The View to pay tribute to ‘beautiful soul’
The 67-year-old presenter called for police reform “from scratch”.
She added: “Obviously it doesn’t matter if it’s a white cop or a black cop. It’s a problem in policing itself.
“It seems like things don’t make sense to people unless it’s someone they can feel or they can recognize.”
Five officers were charged with the second degree murder of Nichols, who died in hospital three days after the attack, and dismissed from the force.
Horrific body camera footage showed the FedEx worker being beaten for three minutes as officers shouted profanity at him.
Nichols calls out for his mother before his limp body is pressed against a police car as officers exchange punches.
After the first officer roughly pulls Nichols out of a car, Nichols can be heard saying, “I didn’t do anything”, as a group of officers begin knocking him to the ground.
An officer is heard shouting, “Tasez him! Taste it!
Nichols said calmly, ‘OK, I’m down.’
“You’re really doing a lot right now,” Nichols says. “I’m just trying to get home.”
Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn ‘CJ’ Davis said she had never seen anything so devastating in her career.
Meanwhile, Benjamin Crump, the attorney representing the Nichols family, said the victim was treated like a “human piñata”.
The officers involved were from the force’s Scorpion unit which was set up to tackle growing crime but has come under fire for its aggressive tactics.
On Saturday, Davis confirmed that the unit was permanently disbanded.
But Goldberg co-host Sunny Hostin said more needed to be done and that police reform should be seen as a priority alongside soaring gas prices and inflation.
“I think, you know, to get real police reform — which would include the personal responsibilities of police officers,” she said.
“Because we have a lot of energy about gas prices, debt and inflation.
“I would like to see the same energy directed towards police reform, because we also pay for police brutality with our taxes.”
Nichols’ parents also appeared on the show, with his mother RowVaughn Wells describing her son as a “beautiful soul”.
“He loved his son. He loved his family. He loved his mother,” she said.
“Everyone he met, he touched them in a positive way. He was just a beautiful person.
It comes after friends of Tire Nichols posted a moving video of him skateboarding as they urged the public to remember him as ‘living his best life’.
The two-minute clip, which shows Nichols performing skateboard tricks on a sunny day, went viral on social media as users paid tribute to the ‘handsome’ boy.
A GoFundMe set up by her mother also topped $1 million.
Nichols, 29, died three days after being admitted to hospital this month following a brutal beating by five Memphis police officers.
The five cops were fired on January 20, and on January 26 were arrested and charged with Nichols’ murder as well as kidnapping, assault and misconduct.