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Local officials and organizations react to video footage of Tyre Nichols arrest

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Posted at 8:30 PM, Jan 27, 2023

CLEVELAND — Officials and organizations in Northeast Ohio and around the country are reacting to the video footage of Memphis Police officers beating Tyre Nichols during an arrest.

RELATED: Memphis authorities release video of officers beating Tyre Nichols during arrest

Watch protestors in Memphis, Tenn., in response to the video in the player below:

The Cleveland Police Department released a statement on Twitter prior to the video footage being released:

We are monitoring the ongoing protests in Atlanta and the situation in Memphis as they prepare to release the video from the violent arrest of Tyre Nichols. At this time, we are not aware of any planned protests or related activities in the City of Cleveland. We will update the community as needed over the weekend and have an action plan at ready to keep our city and our residents safe.

We encourage residents to report criminal activity to Cleveland Police via 9-1-1 in an emergency or 216-621-1234 (non-emergency line).
Cleveland Police Department

The Cleveland Cavaliers released a statement on Twitter about the situation:

We grieve with Tyre Nichols' loved ones and offer them our deepest sympathies as they grapple with the pain of his heinous and brutal murder. Our hearts also go out to the city of Memphis. As they continue their investigations into the events that led to Tyre's tragic and untimely death, we're encouraged by the swift response of Police Chief Cerelyn Davis. We join their city officials and Tyre's family in calling for peace and offer them our support on their road to healing.

We want to continue to be part of the solution. Through our organization's ongoing partnership with Law Enforcement in Northeast Ohio, we will continue doing the work to build bridges between communities of color and the region's police departments. We believe that this type of collaboration can impact police relations in our community and beyond. We remain committed to our goal of creating lasting trust between Law Enforcement and the citizens they serve, while helping to build safer communities for everyone.

#FortheLoveFortheLand
Cleveland Cavaliers

Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb released a statement:

The video evidence released today in the beating death of Tyre Nichols in Memphis is horrifying. I am heartbroken for Tyre’s family—his parents, his siblings, and his young son. No family should ever have to experience what they are going through right now.We have been here too many times without achieving the change we so desperately need.

What happened in Memphis on January 7 lays bare what is at stake if we do not get police reform right. Despite heightened awareness and nationwide organizing and activism in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, change is not happening fast enough.

We must do better, and it starts with real accountability, real oversight, and working in partnerships across our communities.

Here in Cleveland, the new Community Police Commission—established by Issue 24—met for the first time on Wednesday to begin their critical work as one of the strongest citizen oversight boards in the country. We believe that this is the beginning of a new era in constitutional policing, powered by people and set up for real and lasting change.

I join leaders from across the country in denouncing the brutality that took this young man’s life, in calling for peace as the investigations continue, and in asking for justice for Tyre Nichols and his loved ones.
Justin M. Bibb

House Representative Shontel Brown released her statement in a thread on Twitter:

The Cleveland City Council Leadership Team also released a response:

The Memphis Police Department recently released a video showing the death of Tyre Nichols. The Cleveland City Council leadership team extends condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Nichols and stands united in speaking out against police brutality. Staying silent contributes to the problem. Unfortunately, the incident in Memphis is not unique.

The leadership team consists of Council President Blaine A. Griffin (Ward 6), Majority Leader Kerry McCormack (Ward 3) and Majority Whip Jasmin Santana (Ward 14).

Council leadership understands residents are frustrated and angry by the content of that video, and from other recorded violent encounters. The Cleveland Division of Police is committed to protecting the right for peaceful demonstration by community members.

Cleveland is taking steps to foster better community-police relationships. These steps include legislation passed by Council in 2022 that requires the release of video footage within seven days of an incident involving a police officer’s use of deadly force, efforts to improve police-community relationships via the Community Relations Board, partnering with our consent decree monitor, and seating the newly formed Community Police Commission. Council appointed three members to the Commission and approved the appointment of the mayor’s ten picks to the Commission.

Working with the Cleveland Division of Police and community advocates, Council remains committed to building better community-police relationships in Cleveland.
Darryle Torbert, Cleveland City Council

Attorney General Dave Yost released his thoughts on Twitter:

U.S. Representative Emilia Strong Sykes released a statement:

My sincere condolences go out to the family and friends of Tyre Nichols. I pray for them fervently and hope his family receives the justice they deserve. It is utterly unacceptable for a traffic stop to turn into a deadly interaction. Every public servant should treat everyone they serve with decency and respect.

Whether it’s George Floyd, Jayland Walker or Tyre Nichols, I share in the collective outrage, pain, and resolve to ensure there are better outcomes, protections and accountability when encountering public employees, including, and especially, law enforcement.
Rep. Strong Sykes

National reactions
President Joe Biden released a statement:

Like so many, I was outraged and deeply pained to see the horrific video of the beating that resulted in Tyre Nichols’ death. It is yet another painful reminder of the profound fear and trauma, the pain, and the exhaustion that Black and Brown Americans experience every single day.

My heart goes out to Tyre Nichols’ family and to Americans in Memphis and across the country who are grieving this tremendously painful loss. The footage that was released this evening will leave people justifiably outraged. Those who seek justice should not to resort to violence or destruction. Violence is never acceptable; it is illegal and destructive. I join Mr. Nichols’ family in calling for peaceful protest.

I spoke with RowVaughn Wells and Rodney Wells, Mr. Nichols’ mother and stepfather, this afternoon. There are no words to describe the heartbreak and grief of losing a beloved child and young father. Nothing can bring Mr. Nichols back to his family and the Memphis community. But Mr. and Mrs. Wells, Mr. Nichols’ son, and his whole family deserve a swift, full, and transparent investigation.

We must do everything in our power to ensure our criminal justice system lives up to the promise of fair and impartial justice, equal treatment, and dignity for all. Real and lasting change will only come if we take action to prevent tragedies like this from ever happening again. That is why I called on Congress to send the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to my desk. When Senate Republicans blocked that bill, I signed an executive order that mandated stricter use of force standards and accountability provisions for federal law enforcement, as well as measures to strengthen accountability at the state and local level
President Joe Biden

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