Following the killing of Tyre Nichols by law enforcement officers in Memphis and the release of investigative video footage last Friday, some Tri-Valley leaders and first responders have spoken out on the matter offering condolences and reassurance to the public.
Through social media and official website posts, local leaders have reacted the incident in recent days.
On Jan. 7, Nichols, a 29-year-old FedEx employee, was stopped on suspicion reckless driving. Five police officers of the Memphis Police Department pulled Nichols from his car, pepper-sprayed and beat him for approximately three minutes. Nichols was then hospitalized and died three days later as a result of his injuries from the beating.
Video footage of the incident was captured by a nearby CCTV, as well as on police body cameras. Nichols, a Sacramento native, was an amateur photographer and had a 4-year-old son.
The Weekly has compiled statements from police departments and city officials in San Ramon, Pleasanton and Dublin in response to the Nichols case. Danville and Livermore officials have not issued such joint statements to date.
San Ramon Police Chief Denton Carlson and President of the San Ramon Police Officers Association Sgt. Mark Holland on Jan. 29
We are sorry. The killing of Tyre Nichols was reprehensible and unjust.
Once again, members of our chosen profession criminally took the life of an innocent person. I watched the videos yesterday, and as I mentioned in a social media post last night, they were disgusting, reprehensible, and inhumane. I was appalled by their barbarism and stunning incompetence while performing a simple community member contact and their shocking inability to simply respect an individual's life.
The actions taken by those police officers in Memphis were unfathomable. When do we, as a profession, arrive at a point where every leader in law enforcement recognizes that some of our systems are broken and demands we make it right? What happened in Memphis, and what has happened far too many times across our country, directly results from fatally flawed systems. Until our industry can unanimously recognize this at a national level, incidents like this will continue to occur. Putting our heads in the sand and saying it is just a few bad apples is no longer acceptable.
Improving organizational culture, universally respecting human dignity, responsible supervision, enhancing officer wellness, and fostering a mentality that does not value enforcement above all else are just a few critical components that will finally bring about change and improve our national approach to law enforcement. Unfortunately, we cannot "train" ourselves out of this hole. It will take a cultural shift throughout law enforcement to make this happen.
As your Chief of Police, it is with immense pride that I, along with Sergeant Mark Holland, President of the San Ramon Police Officer's Association, report your San Ramon Police Officers are on the cutting edge of these vital concepts of successful policing in 2023. You have our commitment that we will continue to advance and dedicate our service to every member of the San Ramon Community with the highest level of professionalism and integrity.
Not only will we continue to be dedicated to this level of professionalism within our organization, but we are committed to setting the example for law enforcement nationwide. We will work tirelessly to improve our industry far beyond the city limits of San Ramon.
Every member of our organization echoes this commitment, and I cannot thank Sergeant Mark Holland enough for joining me in this message.
To ensure everyone in our community has the opportunity to meet and talk with us about our philosophy and service-based approach to policing, we invite you to join us at an Open House on Wednesday, February 1st, 2023, from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the San Ramon Police Department (2401 Crow Canyon Road).
This forum will allow us to talk openly and to organically answer your questions. Mark and I will both be there, along with other members of the San Ramon Police Department, and we welcome you to join us on Wednesday evening.
Pleasanton Mayor and City Council, Pleasanton City Manager, Pleasanton Police Chief, Pleasanton Police Officers Association on Jan. 29
In the wake of this moment, no one can stand silent. Let us be clear and direct about where the City of Pleasanton stands: the death of Tyre Nichols is inexcusable. With others, we grieve for Tyre Nichols, for his family and friends, and for the Memphis community.
The Pleasanton Police Department joins departments across the country in being angered by and in condemning the reprehensible actions of the officers involved. The video shows those officers betraying their code to protect and serve. We strive, on each and every call, to always model excellence; we remain steadfast in our commitment to serve as guardians with compassion, empathy and respect in each opportunity we have to serve. We will continue to engage in constructive dialogue and collective work to ensure that we reflect the community we strive to be.
To those in Memphis and all affected by this needless tragedy: the City of Pleasanton and our police department stand with you.
Dublin Mayor and City Council, Dublin City Manager, Dublin Police Chief on Jan. 31
Like many of you, another report of brutality at the hands of a police officer leaves us shocked and horrified. It is reprehensible that people with whom we place our trust and lives could behave so unconscionably. The behavior of those Memphis Police officers goes against everything that law enforcement officers are called to do. We condemn those actions in the strongest way possible.
Actions like those of the former Memphis police officers, and those who did not immediately render aid, erode the confidence that good, decent, and honorable police officers have worked hard to build in this community and in others across the country.
The City of Dublin, Dublin City Council, and Dublin Police are committed to embracing Community-Oriented Policing principles and ensuring that our officers treat every individual with the dignity and respect they deserve.
Our city mourns for the family and friends of Tyre Nichols, the entire Memphis community, and other families who have ever had to face similar tragedies at the hands of law enforcement.