Sonoma County law enforcement chiefs ‘appalled’ by video of Memphis police violence in Tyre Nichols’ death
Following the release Friday of police video that showed Memphis officers involved in the beating death of Black motorist Tyre Nichols, a coalition of Sonoma County’s law enforcement chiefs released a statement saying they were “appalled at his senseless killing.”
“The actions carried out in the video are unconscionable,” read the Saturday afternoon statement, signed by Sonoma County Sheriff Eddie Engram, Santa Rosa Police Chief John Cregan and others in the Sonoma County Law Enforcement Chiefs Association.
Read the full statement here: https://public.alertsense.com/content/2006/12878.
“The five former police officers arrested and charged in this tragic incident betrayed their oath of office and have tarnished the badge that represents our profession,” the statement read.
The recording shows police savagely beating Nichols, a 29-year-old father and FedEx worker, who was pulled over on suspicion of erratic driving. The video recorded officers hurling profanities at Nichols as they beat and kicked him. Afterward, as Nichols was suffering on the pavement, it took more than 20 minutes before any sort of medical attention was provided.
The Jan. 7 arrest was made by the Memphis Police Department Scorpion unit, which has three teams of about 30 street officers who target suspected violent offenders in areas with high crime rates. The department announced Saturday the unit had been disbanded.
“As leaders, we are speaking out against these unacceptable actions and compelling our law enforcement officers and employees here in Sonoma County and beyond to use this moment as one to reflect on how we carry ourselves and interact with all members of our communities daily,” the local chiefs’ statement continued. “We must continue to hold ourselves accountable to one another and the communities we serve.”
In addition to Engram and Cregan, the signatories also included chiefs of the county’s eight other cities, its two public colleges, as well as District Attorney Carla Rodriguez, Santa Rosa CHP Capt. Randy England and Chief Probation Officer Vanessa Fuchs.
The five involved Memphis officers have been fired and charged with second-degree murder and other crimes in Nichols’ death three days after the arrest.
“We remain committed to the preservation of human life and serving all communities fairly and respectfully. Anything less, tears the fabric of our efforts to build and maintain strong community-police relationships,” the statement read.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
You can reach Staff Writer Kathleen Coates at 707-521-5209 or firstname.lastname@example.org.