The following press release was sent to the Bloomingtonian Saturday:
Mayor John Hamilton and Bloomington Police Chief Mike Diekhoff have issued the following statement:
On January 7 of this year, Tyre Nichols, a resident of Memphis, TN, was pulled over for what police said was reckless driving. During the stop, Nichols was aggressively and brutally beaten by police, which resulted in his death three days later on January 10. Yesterday, January 27, The City of Memphis released body cam and surveillance footage of the traffic stop. The videos showed the abhorrent behavior of law enforcement as well as an appalling disregard for his well-being after the beating.
The Bloomington Police Department (BPD) and the City of Bloomington join law enforcement experts from around the nation, President Joe Biden, the Black community of Memphis, and many more in outrage at this horrific and unacceptable display of abuse of power.
“I join in the appall, outrage, and sorrow that so many in our nation feel about yet another senseless act of police violence against a Black resident,” said Mayor John Hamilton. “The role of the police is to serve the community in a way that protects and unites us, not divides, bullies, instills fear, or at worst, kills. I am grateful for the commitment of the BPD and the larger Bloomington community continually to reform, improve, and grow, to advance justice and transparency. We stand in solidarity and sympathy with the people of Memphis.”
“I am appalled and disgusted by the brutal beating of Tyre Nichols by five former Memphis Police officers,” said BPD police chief Mike Diekhoff. “The egregious actions of those involved in the death of Mr. Nichols undermine the public trust that we work so hard to achieve. Officers take an oath to serve all members of our communities with respect, honor, and integrity. The five former Memphis Police officers violated their oath and have tarnished the badges of officers nationwide. As a police leader, I will continue to demand that we train officers to de-escalate use of force encounters, intervene when excessive force is used, and hold officers accountable for their actions. My thoughts and sympathies are with the Nichols family, the community of Memphis, and everyone affected by this terrible event.”