Midlands law enforcement agencies release statements regarding police video in Tyre Nichols’ case

FILE PHOTO: Columbia Police Chief William "Skip" Holbrook
FILE PHOTO: Columbia Police Chief William "Skip" Holbrook((Source: WIS))
Published: Jan. 27, 2023 at 3:23 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Midlands law enforcement agencies release statements after footage of police video in Tyre Nichols case was released.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division Chief, Mark Keel, released this statement following the release of the video:

The murder of Tyre Nichols by five Memphis police officers is shocking and disgusting. Police officers must be held to the highest standard. The unspeakable actions of these officers erase the many positive strides law enforcement has made in communities across the country in recent years. Police officers who choose to betray the oath they are sworn to uphold should be criminally charged and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Law enforcement is an honorable profession, but the actions of these five officers tarnish the badge of every officer who is committed to policing with professionalism, integrity, respect, and compassion. I understand that people are upset. I am upset, too. I fully support your right to protest peacefully so that your voices can be heard. I urge any protest to remain peaceful and lawful. I commit to you that the law enforcement community in South Carolina will continue to build positive relationships with the communities we serve. Any officer who breaks the law will be held accountable.

In response to the video regarding the case of Tyre Nichols, Richland County Sheriff’s Department Sheriff Lott issued the following statement:

“I watched the video and found it to be terribly disturbing. The actions of those officers are despicable and in no way reflective of what this profession stands for. Those officers were entrusted to uphold the law. They betrayed that trust and deserve to be charged accordingly. My prayers are with the family of Tyre Nichols.”

Columbia Police Department Chief W.H. Holbrook released the following statement ahead of the release of the police video in Tyre Nichols’ case:

The brutal beating and subsequent death of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols at the hands of five police officers in Memphis, Tennessee is both indefensible and criminal. The incident captured on police body-worn cameras is expected to be released later today by the District Attorney’s Office. It will likely evoke outrage, disgust and anger. These reactions are understood and warranted. The five male Memphis police officers charged with murder in connection with the incident have tarnished the law enforcement badge, turned their backs on the oath of office, and disgraced a close-knit community, their department, and the country. We are all watching. Their abuses of power and reckless actions have left a stain on the law enforcement profession; a profession built on courage, integrity, empathy and respect. We applaud the immediate and decisive action by the Memphis Chief of Police and the District Attorney. Officers, who abuse their power and act unethically, immorally and illegally, should face the consequences. The Columbia Police Department works incredibly hard every day to earn the trust and respect of citizens. Each citizen contact is an opportunity for us to demonstrate our commitment to professional, accountable, and ethical policing. Treating everyone with empathy, dignity and respect is what professional 21st century policing looks like -- and that is how we police in Columbia. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

Five former Memphis police officers were charged Thursday with murder and other crimes in the killing of Tyre Nichols, a Black motorist who died three days after a confrontation with the officers during a traffic stop.

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