Local leaders speak out after release of bodycam footage shows Tyre Nichols incident

Nichols was brutally beaten and later died due to injuries inflicted by officers in Memphis.
WBTV sat down with Chief Jennings ahead of the video's release.
Published: Jan. 27, 2023 at 5:29 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Local leaders are speaking out ahead of the release of body cam footage that shows officers brutally beating Tyre Nichols, a Black man, in Memphis earlier this month.

Five officers are accused of beating Nichols during a traffic stop on Jan. 7, inflicting serious injuries that led to his death three days later. The officers have since been charged with murder and other crimes related to the killing.

Tonight, authorities will release body cam footage of the incident.

Prior to its public release, leaders in Charlotte are speaking out.

In a Twitter thread, CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings, said that he has spoken with Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis in the wake of the situation.

According to Jennings, Davis said the footage is “the most disturbing police misconduct video that she has seen.” He said he stands by her decision to swiftly fire the involved officers.

“Humans are going to make mistakes, but it is about how we respond that makes the difference,” Jennings said in the thread. “We must always be accountable for our actions. I share in the anger and outrage that comes from this tragedy. There is always more to be done as we continue to improve police and community relationships. We must evolve and we must strive to be better.”

Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles also released the following statement ahead of the footage’s release:

“I express both deep sorrow and outrage over the brutal and senseless killing of Tyre Nichols. My heart goes out to his family and loved ones and the Memphis community, and I share the pain and anger felt across the country as a result of this tragedy.

In Charlotte, we must come together as a community to demand accountability and work toward creating a society where justice and human dignity are upheld. I urge those who are angry and frustrated to express their feelings, but to do so in a lawful manner.

Our community has not been immune to the issues that this terrible incident once again brings to the forefront. I know that CMPD works tirelessly to keep our community safe and has worked and will continue working to strengthen relationships between public safety officers and the people they serve.”

Following the release of the footage, Rep. Alma Adams took to social media to voice her opinion.

“The beating and murder of Tyre Nichols is unconscionable, and justice should be served swiftly,” Adams said. “I am praying for his family and community tonight. Most of all, I am praying for people across the country to join us in ending extrajudicial police violence.”

The ACLU of North Carolina also issued its own statement following the release of the video:

“We are devastated on behalf of Tyre Nichols and his family, and demand a thorough investigation of his death. We vehemently condemn the actions of the officers involved, and demand they be held fully accountable.

The sheer brutality shown in the video once again proves how little progress has been made in preventing law enforcement officers from assaulting and killing Black and brown people with the assumption of impunity. The swift termination and criminal charges filed against the officers responsible for Mr. Nichols’ death should be the rule, not the exception. While these actions are correct and welcome, they are not enough.

We join the Nichols family in their call for peaceful protest to demand justice for Tyre Nichols, accountability for the police officers responsible for his death, and action from lawmakers and law enforcement to enact policies that would ensure police are always held accountable for their actions in every jurisdiction throughout our country.”\

Local law enforcement agencies outside of Charlotte have also issued statements. Concord Police Chief Gary Gacek provided the following quote in a press release on Friday night:

“The death of Tyre Nichols is deeply upsetting. The actions of the now criminally charged and former Memphis police officers are inconsistent with the training, practices, professional standards, and core values of the law enforcement profession.”

In the wake of the released video, a protest has been organized by the NAACP on Saturday at 1 p.m. in front of the Mecklenburg County Courthouse.

Related: Memphis braces for release of video showing Tyre Nichols beaten by police