On Saturday, Greenwich Police Dept Chief James Heavey released a statement in response to the widely circulated video of the deadly beating of Tyre Nichols, at the hands of Memphis, TN police.
On January 10, 2023, Mr. Nichols died, three days after a traffic stop for suspected reckless driving.
The video appears to show Memphis police officers shouting profanities and taking turns kicking and punching Mr. Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man, after the traffic stop.
The five Memphis Police officers – Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith – have been fired. They were part of the department’s specialized SCORPION unit, which stands for Street Crimes Operation to Restore Peace in Our Neighborhoods, and patrolled high-crime areas of the city.
All five officers have posted bail and have been released from custody.
A grand jury returned indictments on Thursday against the five officers, all of whom are Black, with charges including kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression, in addition to 2nd-degree Murder.
Protesters in Memphis have been calling for an end to police violence and carrying signs that say, ‘Justice for Tyre.’
The Memphis Police Facebook page is bursting with thousands of comments. The video of the deadly beating is available to watch on the City of Memphis’s Vimeo channel, with warnings about graphic content and language.
“The Greenwich Police Department is shocked and saddened by the videos showing the brutal assault of Tyre Nichols by Memphis police officers,” Heavey said in his statement released Saturday. “These acts are antithetical to what we believe and do as professional law enforcement officers focused on constitutional policing.”
Heavey said Greenwich Police are united in grief for the Nichols family and the department’s dedication to upholding the values of service, respect, courage, fairness and diligence.
“Our pledge to the community we serve is to provide fair, equitable and transparent police services to everyone,” Heavey added.
Governor Lamont also issued a statement on Saturday, saying, “Tyre Nichols should be alive today. His life matters, and my heart breaks for his family, friends, and loved ones. His last word was ‘mom.’”
“I was struck by the beautiful photos taken by Tyre, which serve as a stark contrast to the horrifying video and images released last night,” Lamont continued. “His family and our nation deserve a swift, thorough, and transparent investigation.
“We cannot continue this way. We must create a more just society for everyone. I’m committed to continuing that work here in Connecticut,” Lamont added.