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Cleveland leadership weigh in on Tyre Nichols police-custody death

Posted at 7:31 AM, Feb 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-07 07:31:55-05

CLEVELAND — Hundreds listened in Monday evening at the word church in Cleveland, as some of the city’s top brass, from the police chief to the mayor himself weighed in on the body camera footage showing Memphis officers beating Tyre Nichols.

Chief Wayne Drummond said he had a meeting with staff after the video surfaced.

“I said, ‘You know, we have to identify individuals that appear to be out of control and not complying with our rules, our regulation and so forth’. If we witness something such as people being out of control, cursing, being disrespectful, it's our duty, it's our responsibility to pull him aside and bring the body camera footage forward. "

The foundation of Monday’s conversation was to ensure what happened in Memphis does not happen in Cleveland, something that Clevelanders have concerns about because CPD has been in the national spotlight in previous years for misconduct

“I have a black husband, a black father, a black brother, black nephews,” said Jennifer Wainwright. “For every black man who I love, I wondered what would prevent this from happening to them."

“It's frightening to see people who could possibly be my brother, my uncle, my father that man [Tyre Nichols] like that," said another attendee.

Bibb and Drummond said measures are in place to ensure officers have the right tools and are held accountable, referencing Cleveland’s newly established community police commission, expanding the city's co-responded program and executing the consent decree.

The mayor said the use of force incidents and complaints against officers are both down.

“I spent time in these patrol cars on ride-alongs, seeing how the culture of. diversion, making sure we have the right deescalation tactics in place,” said Bibb. “There is a different generation of younger officers who have a different lived experience."

Cleveland Safety Director Karrie Howard said he has also terminated 32 officers and suspended 85 with required training due to misconduct since he was appointed in June of 2020

“I want to make sure that folks understand that when officers do wrong, we're going to hold them accountable,” said Howard. “If it comes to termination, suspension, demotions, we're going to hold them accountable. No question about it.”

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