BOISE, Idaho — Following the release of police video Friday in the deadly assault of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols from Memphis, Tennessee, the Idaho Chiefs of Police Association issued a statement calling the beating a "horrendous criminal act."
Nichols' death on Jan. 10 prompted murder charges Thursday against the five Memphis officers who brutally beat him. The video also sparked outrage at the country’s latest instance of police brutality.
The city of Memphis posted the video Friday to its Vimeo page, which shows police beating Nichols for three minutes on Jan. 7. The officers then milled about for several minutes as Nichols lay propped against the car, then slumped onto the street.
Friday's statement from the Idaho Chiefs of Police Association is included below:
After viewing the video of what occurred in Memphis, the Idaho Chiefs of Police Association is disheartened that these five (5) officers could be so void of human empathy and compassion that they would commit such a horrendous criminal act, an act which is really an affront to our very profession and our mission to protect and to serve.
Many major cities are preparing for rioting and while we probably won’t see this type of activity, we are sure our citizens will exercise their right to protest, we are confident they will do so in a peaceful manner. We will all be painted with a broad brush and lumped in with the Memphis officers. We are not them and they do not represent the professionalism Idaho officers display each day. What happened to Tyre Nichols in Memphis, Tennessee is as appalling as it is disheartening. The fact that five (5) police officers, who are supposed to protect and serve their community, could be so brazen and brutal is almost impossible to fathom. They not only violated their oath as police officers, but violated the basic tenets of humanity. While our hearts go out to Mr. Nichols family, we know it will never bring him back or heal their pain or fill to void his death has left.
As police leaders we have to recognize and acknowledge when someone tarnishes our profession. We have to hold our officers accountable and we need to maintain our strict hiring and training standards in order to avoid incidents like these from occurring in our state.
To our Idaho police officers, thank you for your continued empathy, compassion and professionalism.
Chief Joe Huff with Nampa Police shared the statement from the Idaho Chiefs of Police Association on the department's Facebook page, adding "we are appalled and saddened by the actions of ex-police officers from Memphis PD."
Garden City Chief of Police Rick Allen also posted a statement to the department's Facebook page calling the Memphis police officers' actions "disgraceful and sickening."
This evening, I watched the Memphis videos involving the senseless beatings of Tyrie Nichols. I am appalled. The action of the five Memphis officers is absolutely disgraceful and sickening.
I am furious that members of my profession tarnished the very badge that we share. I can assure you that neither I, nor the officers of GCPD, share the same ideals and tactics. The actions of these men are not consistent with the morals and values of true law enforcement officers.
I hope that these individuals are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The citizens should demand, and receive, justice. I strongly encourage the citizens to use their voice for justice, peacefully and lawfully. Know that I, and our Garden City Police Officers, support your desire for justice.
Caldwell Chief of Police Rex Ingram also took to Facebook late Friday on the "heinous crime."
As noted by the Idaho Chiefs of Police Association and Garden City Police, Ingram said the act of the five Memphis police officers is "damaging" for those who work in law enforcement:
After viewing the video(s) involving the inexcusable death of Tyre Nichols, at the hands of former Memphis police officers, I am appalled by this heinous crime. The criminal actions of those involved are reprehensible and damaging to the professionalism, tradition, and exceptional work that nearly every police officer in this country exhibits daily.
We all accept an oath of office to protect the life, liberty and property of our fellow Americans and will always hold our own accountable. It is difficult to refrain from casting judgement on these officers without knowing the facts; however, the videos are extremely disturbing and not consistent with the mission, vision and values of our profession. Sadly, in our industry, the acts of one or some can have a ripple effect across the country and make our jobs more difficult.
The Caldwell Police Department stands with every other professional law enforcement agency in this country who condemns the actions by these officers. We will not support any police officer who chooses ‘self’ over service and who abuses their authority vested in them by the people they serve.
~Rex Ingram, Caldwell Chief of Police
Nichols was a father and an avid skateboarder from Sacramento, California, with a tattoo of his mom on his arm. Friends at a memorial service described him as joyful, lovable and a beautiful soul.
To read more about Nichols, click here.
Boise Interim Police Chief Ron Winegar said "my heart aches for Mr. Nichols, his friends and family, the Memphis community and all those who watched the videos released." Winegar said he watched the video Friday, and called it "appalling" in the following statement:
The callous disregard for human pain and suffering, inflicted by those sworn to protect and serve, is inconsistent with the core values of the policing profession and does not align with our duty to serve our community professionally or lawfully.
The Boise Police Department stands in solidarity with all those demanding better from law enforcement in America, and we strongly condemn the actions shown in the videos released today. Those who do wrong should be held accountable, especially when they are police officers.
The members of the Boise Police Department are committed to holding ourselves to a higher standard. We will continue to do everything we can to serve and protect our community with the utmost care, compassion, and respect. Anything less is unacceptable.
-Interim Chief Ron Winegar
Ada County Sheriff Matt Clifford also released a statement Saturday on the fatal beating of Nichols in Memphis, assuring the office values "human life and dignity above all else."
I’m struggling to find words to explain how I feel watching what happened to Tyre Nichols in Memphis.
What happened to Tyre Nichols was a brutal murder, committed by the very people Memphis trusts with their safety every day. It is a betrayal of unfathomable depth. I’m sick to my stomach.
My heart is broken for Tyre Nichols’ family and friends. My heart is broken for the people of Memphis. My heart is broken for every person who watched the videos and read accounts of what happened and has their sense of security and safety violated.
There is no excuse for the men who did this, no justification or explanation. It was a shocking betrayal of trust and a gross abuse of power.
Memphis might be 2,000 miles away, but what happened Jan. 7 affects all of us. I know it erodes at the trust between law enforcement and the communities we serve, no matter where we live.
All I can do in this moment is reassure you that I and every one of the more than 800 employees at the Ada County Sheriff’s Office value human life and dignity above all else. There is no compromise on that. Anyone who does not share those bedrock values has no place here.
I know the trust you place in our agency is a privilege, one we are committed to working with you on every day.
— Matt Clifford
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