The president, vice president, governor, and local law enforcement agencies have released statements in response to the videos released Friday of the Memphis incident involving Tyre Nichols.
“Like so many, I was outraged and deeply pained to see the horrific video of the beating that resulted in Tyre Nichols’ death,” President Biden said.
On Friday evening, Memphis officials released videos of the incident that led to the death of Tyre Nichols.
“The footage that was released this evening will leave people justifiably outraged,” Biden continued. “Those who seek justice should not to resort to violence or destruction.”
The incident happened on Jan. 7 when Tyre Nichols was pulled over for an alleged traffic violation after photographing a sunset, according to accounts his family would give later,
the AP reported.
Over two weeks later, five officers involved in the incident were fired after an internal investigation found they used excessive force, failed to intervene, and failed to render aid,
AP reports. They are identified as Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith. All five are Black.
The videos emerged one day after the officers were charged with murder in Nichols’ death. If you wish to view the videos, which contain graphic content and language, you can do so by clicking
President Biden, Vice President Harris, Governor Youngkin, and Blacksburg Police have all released statements on the incident, which you can read in full below.
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 Biden Vice President Harris
Tyre Nichols should have made it home to his family. Yet, once again, America mourns the life of a son and father brutally cut short at the hands of those sworn to protect and serve. The footage and images released tonight will forever be seared in our memories, and they open wounds that will never fully heal.
The persistent issue of police misconduct and use of excessive force in America must end now.
I join President Biden in his call for accountability and transparency. We must build trust—not fear—within our communities.
Congress must act with urgency and pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. To truly honor Tyre Nichols’ memory, and the memory of so many others before him, we must demand that our justice system lives up to its name.
Vice President Harris Governor Glenn Youngkin
The hearts of Virginians and our entire nation ache tonight as we struggle with the horrible events in Memphis and grieve for Tyre Nichols and his family. The disturbing and shocking video released this evening displays incomprehensible violence towards another human being and we must condemn these heinous actions.
As we process these agonizing events, I ask those exercising their first amendment rights to do so peacefully. We will ensure Virginians’ first amendment rights as we prioritize and protect the safety of the Commonwealth and all Virginians. We can choose to come together and not further the divide. We must strive each day to better our communities and treat one another with love and respect.
Suzanne and I are praying for the family of Tyre and for the continued safety of the Commonwealth, all Virginians and our men and women in law enforcement.
Governor Glenn Youngkin Blacksburg Police Department
The Blacksburg Police Department sends its condolences to the family of Tyre Nichols. Law enforcement officers have a duty to act with integrity and honesty and to treat all persons with respect, even in challenging situations. The senseless violence perpetrated by individuals in Memphis represents a failure in law enforcement, one that the men and women of the Blacksburg Police Department condemn.
The Blacksburg Police Department stands with Mr. Nichols’ family on the side of justice. We respect our community’s right to protest what happened in Memphis and simply ask, as Mr. Nichols’ mother requested, that all protests be conducted in peace.
Kendrick T. Brewster, Chief of Police, Blacksburg Police Department
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