Police leaders in Tarrant County react to video of Memphis cops beating Tyre Nichols
Police leaders across Tarrant County are reacting on social media to the video footage released of police officers in Memphis beating Tyre Nichols to death.
The video, released Friday night, shows Memphis, Tennessee, police beat the man with fists, kicks and a baton. In the footage, Nichols can be heard begging for police to stop and crying out for his mother. The 29-year-old man was pulled over for a traffic violation prior to the beating and died in the hospital three days later.
The videos, which are graphic, can be viewed here. Because of the violence in the videos, viewer discretion is advised.
In a news release Friday night, Fort Worth Police Chief Neil Noakes said the video is a reminder that the actions of law enforcement in one community can affect people across the nation.
“The details surrounding the death of Tyre Nichols are disturbing, tragic, and a direct contradiction to the service of thousands of officers who are committed to serving their communities every day,” Noakes said in the statement. “The video is hard to watch, and the audio is difficult to hear.”
Statement from Chief Noakes pic.twitter.com/QajqrURE0v
— Fort Worth Police (@fortworthpd) January 28, 2023
He praised the “swift and decisive action” to hold the five officers accountable. They were fired and charged with murder.
Noakes said that times like this highlight the need for good community policing and for officers to take every opportunity they have to build and maintain trust with their communities.
“The men and women of the Fort Worth Police Department will continue working diligently to enhance trust and relationships with all the communities we serve through professional service, transparency and accountability,” Noakes said.
In Arlington, police echoed Noakes’ comments. The department said in a news release that like many across the nation, it is “extremely troubled” by the footage released Friday.
“We unequivocally denounce the actions of the now-former officers which do not align with the training or established best practices of our profession,” the news release from Arlington said.
A statement from the #ArlingtonTX Police Department. pic.twitter.com/NJpjG7QBq5
— Arlington, TX Police (@ArlingtonPD) January 28, 2023
The department called the use of force a “tremendous power officers yield” that is “sometimes necessary to keep the peace, protect the public, and save lives.”
“But with that power comes even greater responsibility and accountability to ensure that we do not overstep our bounds,” Arlington police said. “The amount of force used against Mr. Nichols was excessive and unnecessary.”
Lake Worth Police Chief J.T. Manoushagian said on Twitter that “Tyre should be alive” and he agrees with the “strong words being used” in statements issued across the nation.
Lots of statements being issued, and strong words being used. Rightfully so. Tyre should be alive! But I want more than words. I want my actions, my character, and the way I lead to reflect the change we’re all seeking. I don’t want you to hear it from me - I want you to see it.
— Chief J.T. Manoushagian (@LWPD_CHIEF) January 28, 2023
“But I want more than words,” Manoushagian said. “I want my actions, my character, and the way I lead to reflect the change we’re all seeking. I don’t want you to hear it from me — I want you to see it.”
Jimmy Perdue, the chief of police in North Richland Hills, said the actions of the officers who beat Nichols to death betray the profession of police officers across the U.S.
“The brutal beatings and the blatant disregard for Mr. Nichols’ Civil Rights do not represent the caliber of officer this profession demands,” Perdue said. “As law enforcement leaders, we must continue to hold those who don’t meet these standards accountable..”
A message to our community from Chief Perdue pic.twitter.com/M1C0zoy7oQ
— NRH Police (@NRHPD) January 28, 2023