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BLM Protesters Block Memphis-Arkansas Bridge, Shutting Down ‘Critical Link to the Global Supply Chain’

Memphis protesters have taken to the streets on Friday demanding justice for Tyre Nichols upon the release of harrowing bodycam footage.

The disturbing footage showed five black police officers brutally beating the 29-year-old black man to death after he fled a traffic stop on January 7.

Local CBS affiliate News Channel 3 reported that Black Lives Matter had organized protests in the city ahead of the release of the Tyre Nichols incident.

Parker King of NBC affiliate Action 5 provided footage of protesters marching in the streets in downtown Memphis.

Protesters shut down all lanes of traffic on one of the most critical bridges in the world on Friday night.

“Protesters have shut down the Memphis-Arkansas Bridge in both directions as hundreds of cars are now backed up as protesters refuse to clear out the highway,” Jorge Ventura media reported for the Daily Caller.

The news outlet showed a black truck driver who reportedly even agreed with the protesters demanding ‘justice for Tyre Nichols’ who nonetheless pleaded with them to clear the bridge.

“Holding up traffic don’t do nothing,” the trucker told a protester. “Then what do we do, bro?” the protester responded.

But another truck driver, who was off-duty and Memphis-based according to the New York Post, joined with the protesters.

“I have to be here for Tyre,” Marcus Randolph told the Post. “The beating of a helpless man. He was in handcuffs. You see the handcuffs? He was in handcuffs the whole time. They kicked him in these handcuffs and he was on the ground with two other officers on top of him.”

Kim Jackson, a 53-year-old mother of three, also told the Post her reasons for joining the protest.

“I was thinking I gotta stand today or it will be my children or grandchildren laying on the ground dying tomorrow if it doesn’t change,” she said, holding a sign that read, “Nothing new. This is what the boys in blue do.”

At 9 p.m., it appeared protesters had left the I-55 bridge, and traffic was moving again. However, the group said they would return Saturday.

Memphis traffic snapshot at 3 a.m. CST on date. (Roadnow)

The Memphis police department last week fired the five officers involved in the incident: Demetrius Haley, Tadarrius Bean, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills and Justin Smith. All of them now face second-degree murder charges in a court of law.

Dave Parker, a spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Transportation, told Fox13 in a 2022 report on the Memphis bridges that the I-55 bridge, also known as the Memphis-Arkansas bridge, takes a considerable amount of daily traffic.

“The average daily traffic volume of the I-55 bridge is 45-thousand per day of which 40 percent of that is truck volume which equates to about 18-thousand per day,” said Parker.

The alternative I-41 bridge, also known as the Hernando de Soto Bridge, is upstream and carries a similar amount of daily traffic.

“The average daily traffic volume for the I-40 bridge is 47-thousand vehicles per day,” Parker added.

In May 2021, inspectors found a crack in one of the I-40 bridge’s support beams, which caused major traffic issues as engineers worked to repair the issue.

State and local officials have been considering adding a third bridge because they are a “critical link to the global supply chain,” the report pointed out.

Protests broke out across the country over the Tyre Nichols bodycam footage on Friday night. In New York City, protesters and police engaged in physical confrontations.

“Can we call this a riot yet?” Mario Nawfal asked.

Tyre Nichols protests were also organized in New York City, as well as Sacramento, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Seattle.

The White House held a joint emergency call with the mayors of at least 16 cities before the video’s release “to brief them on federal preparations in support of state and local leaders.”


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