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'We can not condone this' | Community leaders speak ahead of release of Tyre Nichols' video

Shelby County District Attorney General Steve Mulroy said the video was expected to be released after 6 p.m. Friday.
Credit: WATN

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Shelby County Board of Commissioners joined other community leaders for a news conference Friday afternoon on the investigation into the death of Tyre Nichols ahead of the release of video of the confrontation with Memphis Police.

Shelby County District Attorney General Steve Mulroy said the video was expected to be released after 6 p.m. Friday.  

"We need police officers who are ready to hold their colleagues accountable at every tense moment. We have to create a culture of accountability in our police department that starts with the officers themselves. This is gonna be hard work, but necessary work," said St. Rep. London Lamar. "We are committed to getting this right."

"We can not condone this, we do not condone this type of action," said Shelby County Sheriff Floyd Bonner. "It's not in our training, it's not at the sheriff's office. When you talk about accountability, of course, these officers should be prosecuted." 

"We need to have a broader conversation about police reform at various law enforcement levels, in Tennessee, in Shelby County, throughout the country," said D.A. Mulroy. "About that release of the video... I'm cautiously optimistic because I believe in Memphis and I believe in Shelby County."

He continued, "If there are any people out there... who are tempted to act otherwise, my message to them is this - if you do that, you are making it about you. Not about Tyre Nichols and not about police reform."

"We must vow not to let Tyre Nichols' death be in vain," said NAACP Memphis President Van Turner. "We have to make the change, we have to do it now."

Pastor Ricky Floyd from The Pursuit of God said, "The world is watching us right now, and in the midst of this tragedy, we have a magnificent opportunity to display love, to display unity... to respond in peace and love."

"I believe Memphis is going to do what they've been doing, which is the right thing to call for peace in our community," said Shelby County Commissioner Charlie Caswell. 

Chairman Mickell Lowery said in a statement, “I stand with everyone in Shelby County and around the country that is heartbroken over the murder of Tyre Nichols. I am thankful for the swift action to fire and prosecute the former officers responsible for his death. I also recognize and understand there will be those that are angered by the video as it angered me as well. To those citizens, I implore you as Tyre’s mother has already stated, ‘to let your voice be heard but in a peaceful manner.’”

Five Memphis Police officers who were fired for their involvement in Nichols' death have been indicted on charges of second-degree murder, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct, and official oppression. MPD said Demetrius Haley, Tadarrius Bean, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills, Jr. and Justin Smith were found to be "directly responsible for the physical abuse of Mr. Nichols.”

Nichols died Jan. 10, 2023, following the traffic stop on Jan. 7. Memphis Police said they tried to stop Nichols for reckless driving in the area of Raines Rd. and Ross Rd. They said a confrontation occurred when officers approached Nichols, and he ran away. MPD said a second confrontation occurred, and Nichols told officers he was short of breath before being taken to St. Francis hospital in critical condition.

Nichols’ family said police beat him to the point of being unrecognizable.

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