Tyre Nichols’ death undermines ‘police credibility’ globally, Canadian chiefs say – National

Tyre Nichols’ death undermines ‘police credibility’ globally, Canadian chiefs say – National

Canadian police chiefs on Friday condemned the death of a black man at the hands of police during a traffic stop in the United States and said the officers involved must be held accountable.

The condemnation of the actions that led to Tire Nichols’ death came as authorities in Memphis, Tennessee were about to release video of what had happened.

Nichols died three days after a confrontation with five officers on Jan. 7, and his family said video showed police brutally beating the 29-year-old motorist for three minutes.

The officers, all black, were charged with murder and other crimes Thursday.

READ ALSO: Tire Nichols: Memphis Police Department Graphic Video Released Showing Brutal Beatings

Continue reading: Tire Nichols: Memphis Police Department Graphic Video Released Showing Brutal Beatings

The Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police described the circumstances of Nichols’ death as “horrific and deeply disturbing” and offered its condolences to his family.

The story continues below the ad

“The duties of (officials) must always be carried out in a transparent and professional manner and uphold the high standards of the police profession,” the association said in a statement. “Every official understands that they are responsible for their actions.”

The Ottawa Police Service said the death of Nichols and related tragedies are destabilizing communities and eroding trust in the police force across North America.

“Nichols’ death, like so many before him, is tragic,” Ottawa Police said. “We join the calls for justice and support the steps being taken to fully investigate the incident and hold individuals accountable.”

5:24 Tire Nichols death: Family lawyer welcomes charges against 5 ex-cops

Chiefs of Peel Police, Windsor Police and Regina Police also issued statements condemning the actions of the officers charged in the death of Nichols.

Peel Police Chief Nishan Duraiappah said Nichols’ death was “deeply disturbing” and that his thoughts are with the man’s family and community.

The story continues below the ad

Windsor Police Chief Jason Bellaire said the death of Nichols and similar events would damage “police credibility” worldwide and it would be a long time before the police had rebuilt relationships and restored trust in the community.

2:26 Death of Tire Nichols: Last word on earth was ‘Mom’ says family attorney via bodycam video

He said his force will work with any community groups that want to plan peaceful protests in response to Nichols’ death.

Regina Police Chief Evan Bray called Nichols’ death “tragic and unnecessary” in a video posted to Twitter.

Bray said he reached out to his city’s black community leaders to express his sympathy, noting that Nichols’ death caused “all kinds of heartbreak and trauma.”

Given the likelihood of protests, Memphis Police Director Cerelyn Davis said she and other local officials decided it was best to release the video later in the day, after schools have been dismissed and people are home from work had come.

The story continues below the ad

Read more: 5 fired Memphis cops charged with fatally beating motorist Tire Nichols

Continue reading: Former NFL player Jessie Lemonier dies at 25

Nichols’ mother, RowVaughn Wells, warned supporters about the “terrifying” nature of the video but pleaded for peaceful protests.

“I don’t want us to burn down our city and tear up the streets because that’s not what my son stood for,” she said Thursday. “If you are here for me and Tyre, you will protest peacefully.”

The officers are each charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, administrative misconduct, and administrative repression. According to court and prison documents, four of the five officers had posted bail and been released from custody Friday morning.

Second-degree murder carries a penalty of 15 to 60 years in prison under Tennessee law.

1:49 Death of Tire Nichols: Stepdad calls for peace ahead of bodycam video release, says he’s happy with charges

As a precaution, schools in the Memphis area canceled all after-class activities and postponed an event scheduled for Saturday morning. Other early closures included the city energy company’s community offices and the University of Memphis.

The story continues below the ad

Davis said other officers are still being investigated for violating department guidelines. In addition, she said a “full and independent review” of the department’s specialized units was being carried out, without giving further details.

Two firefighters were also dismissed from duty over the Nichols’ arrest.

– With files from The Associated Press

© 2023 The Canadian Press

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *