Rhode Island responds to video footage in the death of Tyre Nichols

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Police in Tennessee released video footage Friday night of the fatal beating of Tyre Nichols by five former Memphis police officers.

The brutal video sparked reaction nationwide, including in Rhode Island.

Black Lives Matter Rhode Island Political Action Committee’s President, Harrison Tuttle said the group is mourning the loss of another life to police brutality.

“The heartbreaking, ungodly and brazenly brutal beating suffered by Nichols not only violates federal and Tennessee state policing protocols, but violates Nichols’s civil rights and is grossly criminal,” Tuttle said. “No one should ever fear for their life when interacting with the police, our condolences go out to the Nichols family.”

In his statement, Tuttle and the committee urge Rhode Island lawmakers to “take bold action and enact legislation that grants municipal police chiefs the autonomy and sole power to discipline their officers when misconduct occurs.”

U.S. Senator Jack Reed said he is “sickened by the heinous murder,” and that officers who didn’t intervene should be held accountable as well as the five officers who were fired and charged with murder.

“More work and reform is needed to prevent excessive force and police brutality and build trust between local law enforcement and the communities they serve and protect,” Reed said. “We must demand transparency and accountability and take a more holistic, community-driven approach to public safety.”

Reed also said it is imparitive that we stop people that “abuse their power and positions of trust,” adding that these people “do a disservice to committed and honorable” members of law enforcement.

To end his statement, Reed said that this is a time for state legislatures and Congress to make lasting and meaningful change.

Gov. Dan McKee addressed the murder in a Tweet.

“Tyre Nichols. George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. And so many other names we know and others we never will,” his statement read.  “A son and a father — my heart breaks for Tyre’s family. Our country must reckon with the institutional racism that remains today. This senseless violence must stop. Enough.”

Categories: News, Rhode Island