New York State Police condemn Nichols attack
The New York State Police have officially condemned the recent beating of Tyre Nichols, who died following his arrest and subsequent beating at the hands of five members of the Memphis police department. The five officers involved were fired and now face murder charges — a sixth officer on Monday was relieved of his duties.
The acting New York State Police Superintendent Steven A. Nigrelli released a statement Friday on the beating after the Memphis (Tennessee) Police Department released a video of the event.
“Having reviewed the video of the incident involving Tyre Nichols, we strongly condemn the attack carried out by those five former members of the Memphis Police Department,” the statement read. “Their actions are damaging to the work that has been done to rebuild trust between police and the communities they serve. We are outraged and sickened, and we also understand the frustration being felt by the public.”
On Jan. 7, Nichols, 29, was pulled over for allegedly driving recklessly and after attempting to flee on foot, Memphis police said, he was beaten by several officers, which was captured on a video released by police.
In the videos, officers are seen dragging Nichols from his car and shouting profanities throughout the confrontation. Nichols can be heard saying “I’m just trying to go home,” and officers are seen repeatedly kicking, punching and using a baton to strike Nichols as he lies on the ground in the video.
At one point following the arrest, Nichols complained of shortness of breath, according to police, and was taken to the hospital in critical condition. He died three days later in the hospital.
The State Police statement also condemned to use of excessive force by its officers.
“Integrity is a core value of the New York State Police. We train our members to treat people with respect, to show compassion and empathy, and to safeguard their rights,” the statement read. “While we sometimes find ourselves in dangerous and unpredictable situations, we have absolutely no tolerance for any excessive use of force, and any Troopers who violate our policies and break the law will always be held fully accountable.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Nichols family, and we remain committed to serving New Yorkers while showing dignity and respect for everyone,” the statement read. “State Police will be monitoring any developments and will be ready to respond to ensure the safety of all New Yorkers.”
The five former Memphis police offices, Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith, all face charges, including second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression. Like Nichols, the aforementioned officers are Black.