Local, state officials react to Tyre Nichols’ death
Chattanooga mayor, police chief among those who posted online in distaste of Memphis officers' misconduct
CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) — Even before the body cam footage was released publicly Friday night, several local and state officials posted online about the death of Tyre Nichols, which has since gripped the nation in disgust and anger.
Here in Chattanooga and throughout the state of Tennessee, numerous political figures and community leaders have made it clear — this is unacceptable.
Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly stated online Friday afternoon, “I offer my deepest condolences to Tyre Nichol’s family, loved ones, and the entire Memphis community. Mr. Nichols was savagely beaten by officers sworn to protect and serve, in a deplorable act of violence and inhumanity, and I am shocked and saddened by this senseless murder.”
Chattanooga Police Chief Celeste Murphy also stated Friday, not just as a public official but as a mother of four boys, that his death is a “devastating loss.” She further says, “Brutality is simply unacceptable and must be eradicated from the culture of policing everywhere. I want to assure the residents of Chattanooga that the Chattanooga Police Department is committed to protecting and serving this community with integrity.”
In Memphis, the city’s NAACP Branch President Van Turner said, “No one should be viciously beaten to death over an alleged traffic violation. The officers’ actions were despicable, excessive, callous and unjustified. We hope that justice prevails.”
And in Nashville, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said that the Memphis Police Department will need to take a deep look into the “misconduct and failure” that happened in the unit. He also said that, “Cruel, criminal abuse of power will not be tolerated in the state of Tennessee. These individuals do not represent the honorable men and women of law enforcement, and they must brought to justice for this tragic loss of life.”
Again, when reflecting on Chattanooga’s police, Chief Murphy said that “now more than ever, we have to work together to bridge the great divide in our communities and with the police.”
As the city’s police chief, she says she wants to assure the entire community that “this remains a primary focus” for the department.