On Friday evening, Piedmont Police Chief Jeremy Bowers posted a statement on the department’s social media accounts about the death of Tyre Nichols. Nichols died three weeks ago after being brutally beaten by five Memphis police officers. Video of the incident released on Friday afternoon showed the officers used a Taser, pepper spray and a baton on Nichols. The officers, who were fired last week, were charged Thursday with second-degree murder and other crimes in connection to Nichols’ death.
Chief Bowers’ statement:
Like many throughout the country, I just had the opportunity to view the horrific video of Memphis Police Officers violently beating Tyre Nichols, actions which lead to his death, and I cannot help but think of his child, who no longer has a loving father, and the rest of those who loved him.
As a law enforcement professional, I am disgusted and exasperated by this criminal act, devoid of the oath and responsibilities we take as peace officers. I understand how precious and fragile trust is between the public and law enforcement, which is something I, and the department, never take for granted.
I know that for some, viewing this video will shake that trust and faith in law enforcement, for others, it will confirm their existing distrust and misgivings about policing.
As your chief, I respect these perspectives and can only make the appeal that our Piedmont Police Department remains accountable to you to employ best practices, beginning with the people we hire.
As our community processes the death of Tyre Nichols, I know there will be a wide array of emotions. I ask that the expression of those emotions be peaceful and nonviolent.
Please know that my door is always open for anyone who would find it useful to talk.
Yours in service,
Jeremy Bowers, Chief of Police
Bay Area officials and police departments have issued statements condemning the officer’s criminal behavior.
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Thank you Chief and your officers for all the hard work they do caring for our residents.