HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — The Huntsville Police Department (HPD) and other police departments around Alabama and Tennessee have released a statement in reaction to the death of Tyre Nichols in Memphis.
Nichols died after a violent altercation with five former Memphis Police Officers. All five have since been fired for misconduct and indicted by a grand jury on charges of second-degree murder, aggravated assault, two counts of aggravated kidnapping, two counts of official misconduct, and official oppression.
Huntsville Police Chief Kirk Giles said he found the incident shown on the video sickening.
“This is a difficult time for our country. For those of us in law enforcement, it is sickening to see what happened to Tyre Nichols in the hands of police officers. The deplorable actions of those officers reinforces the Huntsville Police Department’s continued commitment to examine our training directives to ensure they meet our values, standards and community expectations. Assuring and protecting the trust of those we serve is of utmost importance to all our officers and affirms our commitment to serve and protect.”HPD Chief Kirk Giles
Giles’ Statement came after similar statements from police chiefs in Birmingham, Chattanooga, and Nashville.
Birmingham Police Chief Scott Thurmond first offered condolences to the family before commenting on the shame the event brings to law enforcement as a whole.
“The Birmingham Police Department would like to extend our condolences to the family of Tyre Nichols of Memphis, TN,” Thurmond said. “Anytime a tragic incident occurs such as this, all law enforcement agencies are hurt because of the shame that is now brought upon our profession. As police officers, we all take an oath and should hold ourselves accountable for our actions. At the Birmingham Police Department, we share in holding all of our officers to a higher standard of displaying our motto of commitment, excellence and integrity in every situation that our officers are placed in. We do not condone the actions that these former officers took and will remain firm in our stance that as a department, we will follow and uphold a true moral compass in all our actions.”Birmingham Police Chief Scott Thurmon
Chattanooga Police Chief Celeste Murphy also gave her condolences to the Nichols family.
I send my sincere condolences to the family of Tyre Nichols. As a mother of 4 boys, I know his death is a devastating loss. Brutality is simply unacceptable and must be eradicated from the culture of policing everywhere. I want to assure the residents of Chattanooga that the Chattanooda Police Department is committed to protecting and serving this community with integrity. We want Chattanooga to be a safe, comfortable place for us all to liv, work and play without fear of retribution when encountering police. The video of Tyre’s encounter I’m sure will deliver a shock that will no doubt impact us all. Now more than ever, we have to work together to bridge the great deie in our communities and with the police. And as your police cheif, I assure you this remains a primary focus for our department. I am proud of our department’s demonstrated commitment to building relationships and I know that we can continue to build trust in the community while maintaining the pursuit of justice and public safety,”Chattanooga Police Chief Celeste Murphy
Nashville Police Chief John Drake said he was repulsed by the incident and gave credit to Memphis Police Chief CJ Davis for her actions in the case.
“I am repulsed by the horrendous beating of Tyre Nichols by the now charged former members of the Memphis Police Department. This should not happen anywhere, ever, and I condemn their actions in the strongest possible way. It is unconscionable to me that the individals who kicked, punched and beat Mr. Nichols could have such a disregard for another human being. They must be held accountable. I credit Chief Davis in Memphis for taking swit action to fire them. I also credit Director Rausch and his team at the TBI for the expedited and independent investigation that led to the indictment of five. This week I asked the men and woman of the MNPD to remember who WE are in this police department. Now, more than ever, the principles of respect, compassion, organizational exellence, community engagement and precision policing must guide us in all that we do every day.”Nashville Police Chief John Drake