To the Riley County Community,
Over the past several days, more information has been made public as to the events surrounding the violent arrest and death of Tyre Nichols in Memphis, Tennessee. I am closely monitoring the information being reported publicly, and am encouraged both the Memphis Police Department and city officials are swiftly taking action as they relate to the individuals involved. I pray for the family of Tyre Nichols, as well as all of the families affected by this tragedy.
I don’t know the specifics of what happened in Memphis, but I’d like to briefly discuss my thoughts as to what I saw in those newly released videos. It’s abundantly clear that the officers involved failed to utilize appropriate training when arresting Mr. Nichols. Most importantly they didn’t recognize Mr. Nichols as a human undeserving of the numerous terrorizing attacks they levied against him – Mr. Nichols didn’t deserve to be subjected to those attacks.
There are two strong and encompassing indicators I know to be warning signs which always lead to the types of unacceptable acts we all saw in Memphis: the first is how well police and correctional officers are trained, and the second and perhaps the most important is the culture of the organization. Your department has strong, foundational training in de-escalation, fair and impartial policing, and use of force. Most importantly, the culture of your department is professional and rooted in the focus of respecting those we serve. We believe in treating everyone fairly and with respect, preserving the dignity of all those we encounter and serve.
If anyone in the community would like to speak with me regarding this incident or RCPD in general, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at (785) 537-2112 ext. 2300.