ATLANTA — Moments after Memphis police released video of five officers’ interaction with Tyre Nichols three days before he died, Georgia leaders began posting their reactions.
Nichols died earlier this month after being beaten by five Memphis police officers after a traffic stop. All five of those officers have been fired, arrested and charged with Nichols’ murder.
Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens released a lengthy statement saying the videos left him with “feelings of sickness and anger,” but that he was encouraged by the city’s swift actions toward justice.
“Once again, we bear witness to a horrific act—a vile and brutal attack of a young unarmed Black man in America by officers who were sworn to serve and protect. I know I am not alone in my feelings of sickness and anger in the attack on Mr. Tyre Nichols. I grieve with my community, and my heart goes out to Mr. Nichols’ family.
“I am encouraged by the swift action taken by Memphis leaders to seek accountability from those responsible, and that these former officers have been charged. I spoke with Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland this week, and I believe he is personally committed to justice in this case and healing in his city.
“The Atlanta Police Department has taken great strides in recent years to fully implement vital policing reforms, and that work continues. Still, as this act of utter brutality in Memphis shows us, we must stay vigilant and continue to train our officers to the highest standards.
“I have asked Chief Schierbaum, Chief Smith and Chief Dancy to review this video and case with the command and training staffs of the Atlanta public safety departments. We must use this moment to learn, to end these unspeakable acts of violence.
“To those who are called to lift their voices and demonstrate: know that the City of Atlanta and our public safety agencies are prepared to support peaceful protest in our city. I am a firm proponent of full participation, community dialogue and peaceful demonstration. I ask for peace, and your partnership to not allow agitators to try to co-opt non-violent protest and put people in harm’s way.
“In Atlanta, we have robust processes in place to report and investigate allegations of police misconduct. If you have witnessed or experienced misconduct, you can report it either through ATL311 or to the Atlanta Citizen Review Board.”— Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said he was “deeply saddened” by the video footage. He also reiterated his respect for the right to peacefully protest.
U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock called for communities to “never stop working until we transform the culture of bias and brutality.”
U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff says Nichols’ death serves as a reminder of the necessity of federal regulations on law enforcement.
Dr. Bernice King, CEO of the King Center and daughter of civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., said she wants leaders to put more effort into stopping police brutality than they did preparing responses to a video.
Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr said he was shocked by the contents of the videos.
The Emory Police Department also said they will “work to cultivate a climate of trust, respect, and transparency.”
The Memphis officers’ actions in the death of Tyre Nichols are indefensible.
EPD will continue our work to cultivate a climate of trust, respect, and transparency, while encouraging your voice to be heard. This community deserves nothing less. We look forward to sharing more about how we hire, retain, and train officers who understand and embrace Emory values.
We are here for you. EPD is mindful of the concern and anxiety this incident may cause. We’ve attached a link to resources and support available to the Emory community. You also can access information on the LiveSafe app.— Emory Police Department
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