NEW YORK — Law enforcement and public officials, including those from the Memphis Police Department, who saw the Tire Nichols video expressed dismay across the board, a unified condemnation seemingly plagued by what appears to be, at times, disbelief at the depravity of what they witnessed.
A day before the planned video release, federal prosecutors charged the five now-former Memphis police officers involved in the Nichols case with murder and other crimes, perhaps another tacit acknowledgment of their concern that the content could incite a public backlash. extreme. The five officers, fired after an internal investigation this month, are also black.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams says it has been especially difficult for him to absorb it personally and professionally.
“I advocated for years, during my time at 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement and as a civil rights activist… Seeing what’s being reported, that five black officers are involved in this, it really hurt me personally,” Adams said when asked about of Nichols at an unrelated subway safety briefing on Friday. “I always believed that diversifying our departments with different ethnic groups would allow us to have the level of surveillance that we all deserve.”
Adams, who during his years as an NYPD officer co-founded an organization that advocated for police diversity and against abuses of power, said he “felt betrayed” by the officers accused of Nichols’ death in Memphis.
“Any officer who engages in violence and brutality tarnishes all the work we have done to keep communities safe,” he said. He added: “They make it harder for the brothers and sisters in uniform to do the incredible work they do, day after day.”
The mayor said the video “would cause pain and sadness in many of us. He will make us angry ”.
After the video was released, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said the department “and the communities we serve are collectively outraged by the death of Tire Nichols,” and criticized the actions of officers. that you see in the video.
“The shameful actions depicted in the posted video are an unequivocal violation of our oath to protect those we serve and a failure of basic human decency,” Sewell said in a statement, while reiterating the department’s support for the ” peaceful protest.”
The Rev. Al Sharpton said the video “should be all a jury needs to convict each of the five officers who relentlessly beat Tire Nichols to death. Justice must be served for Tire and his family. I don’t think anyone can.” bear to exceed this footage I would not agree.”