(KRON) — Video was released Friday evening showing Memphis police officers beating Tyre Nichols after a traffic stop, which resulted in his eventual death. The five officers involved in the incident have been fired and charged with murder.
Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis said Friday morning that she wasn’t prepared for what she saw.
“In my 36 years in law enforcement, I don’t think I have witnessed the disregard for a human being displayed in this video,” Davis said.
Before the video was released, Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao urged the city to protest peacefully. The San Francisco Police Department said it was monitoring the situation.
After the video was released, local Bay Area and California leaders shared their reactions.
San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott
“I have been closely monitoring the events unfolding in Memphis and have viewed the video released by the Memphis Police Department.
“The tragic death of Mr. Tyre Nichols after force was used upon him by five Memphis Police Department officers after a traffic stop is extremely disturbing. What I and everyone else saw on the video images reflect a disregard for the sanctity of human life and is the antithesis of the oath, we as law enforcement professionals, were all sworn to uphold.
“This incident again raises the pervasive issue that has occurred for generations — and continues to occur — regarding using force on people of color (specifically Black and brown men). Those of us who have chosen policing as a profession all have a responsibility to make the difficult and courageous decisions necessary to change this narrative for the better. I applaud and support the decision and swift action taken by Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis to terminate the involved officers for what she described as physical abuse against Mr. Nichols.
“This incident affects all of us in law enforcement, and it underscores the importance of the San Francisco Police Department’s work on policy and training revisions, reducing disparities in stops, arrests, and uses of force, and reducing non-lethal and lethal force to fulfill the promise of bias-free and equitable policing that stands for safety with respect for all.”
Gov. Gavin Newsom
“Jennifer and I send our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Tyre Nichols. Tyre Nichols should be alive today. The video released shows abhorrent behavior and these officers must be held accountable for their deadly actions and clear abuse of power. Today, we are a country in mourning, and must continue our work nationwide to push reforms to prevent excessive use of force and save lives.”
San Mateo County Sheriff Christina Corpus
“What we saw in that video was indefensible, sickening, and beyond understanding. This is a sad day for Mr. Nichols’ family and our nation. What I saw those Police Officers do to Tyre Nichols is deeply disturbing, and their actions stain our profession. I condemn what’s seen in this video in the strongest possible terms. The actions of these officers greatly damaged the trust between law enforcement and the communities we serve. But I will redouble my commitment to serving, protecting, and engaging with our communities with compassion, respect, integrity, and dignity. As I have said, we must work together as a community for change. But I ask that we do so peacefully and with respect for Mr. Nichols and for communities across this nation struggling to make sense of this senseless act.”
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San José Mayor Matt Mahan
“Tyre Nichols’ death at the hands of Memphis police officers who were sworn to protect the public is beyond comprehension. It is brutal and appalling—and it never should have happened. I am heartbroken that Tyre’s young son will grow up without a father. I am outraged that our Black neighbors, friends and family continue to experience violence at the hands of officers who choose to abuse their power. The immediate response by the Police Chief to fire these men and decision by the grand jury to indict them on second-degree murder charges is exactly how justice should be enacted in cases of police violence — swiftly and absolutely. San Jose is equally committed to holding accountable public servants who abuse their power. I pray that Tyre’s family and our community can heal and find peace.”