Memphis Police Chief CJ Davis calls Tyre Nichols’ arrest ‘a failing of basic humanity’

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Police Chief CJ Davis called the arrest of Tyre Nichols “a failing of basic humanity.”

Late Wednesday night, MPD released a four-minute video of the police chief commenting about Nichols’ case for the first time publicly.

Davis called Nichols’ death “horrific circumstances” and said that her department is working to “find truth in the tragic loss.”

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In the video, Davis said, outside of the five fired officers, other current Memphis Police officers are still under investigation.

Davis promised “full and complete cooperation” with other agencies investigating the events that led to Nichols’ death.

The police department said that officers had two different “confrontations” with Nichols on Jan. 7, after which the 29-year-old complained of shortness of breath and was taken to a Memphis hospital.

He died three days later, though Nichols’ mother said that he was on a breathing machine that whole time. “My son died on January 7,” said Nichols’ mother.

Davis said the incident between Nichols and Memphis Police officers on January 7 was “heinous, reckless and inhumane” and said that people will see that for themselves when the video of that confrontation is released “in the coming days”.

“I expect you to feel what the Nichols family feels. I expect you to feel outraged in the disregard of basic human rights,” Davis said.

Davis also said that she expects protests and for people to exercise their first-amendment rights.

“But, we need to ensure that our community is safe in this process. None of this is a calling card for insighting violence and disruption in our community or against our citizens,” Davis said.

“In our hurt, in our outrage and frustration, there is still work to be done to build each other up, to continue the momentum of improving our police and community relationships and partnerships. To show people now that watch us now that this behaviour is not what will define our community and our great city. This is not a reflection of the good work that many Memphis Police officers do every day. What comes next is our defining moment. What we all do next can be that reflection of our character,” Davis said.

Davis continued to condemn the officers involved, saying that those men failed the Nichols family and the Memphis community.

Davis ended her speech promising to spearhead a “complete and independent review” is conducted of all of the Memphis Police Department’s specialized units, such as the SCORPION unit.

FOX13 has requested an interview with Davis. The Memphis Police Department denied that request, saying “At this point, we are not conducting any interviews. All statements and information will be released via our social media platforms.”

Nichols died three days later at a Memphis hospital, officials said.

The five officers involved in Nichols’ arrest were fired Friday, Jan. 20.

Footage of Nichols’ arrest has not been publicly released but his family and attorneys said in a press conference Monday that they saw the police video. One of the attorneys called the beating of Nichols as “savage.”