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‘I am sickened beyond words to express my horror,’ Las Vegas community reacts to video of violent arrest of Tyre Nichols during Memphis traffic stop

By Linsey Lewis,


LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Las Vegas and Nevada officials have reacted to the violent arrest of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols after body cam footage and street surveillance footage were made public Friday.

Tyre Nichols videos show what happened in fatal Memphis traffic stop beating

In a statement released Friday, The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and Clark County Sheriff Kevin McMahill state that there is no room for a lack of humanity in policing in response to the violent arrest of Nichols.

“Sheriff Kevin McMahill and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department extend our
sympathies to the family of Tyre Nichols. There is no room in policing for the lack of
humanity shown by the five former Memphis police officers. The brutality of Tyre’s death
and the lack of intervention by officers to render aid is unacceptable.”

Senator Cortez Masto called for justice in a Twitter statement urging everyone to follow the call for a peaceful protest.

“Tyre Nichols should be alive and justice needs to be swift. I urge everyone to follow the Nichols family’s call for peaceful protest,” Masto said in a Twitter statement.

Nevada Congressman Steven Horsford sent his condolences to the Nichols family and committed to finding solutions to ensure officer who uses excessive are held accountable.

“My heart goes out to Tyre Nichols’ family as we mourn his loss. I remain committed to finding legislative solutions to ensure that police officers who use excessive force are held accountable through the criminal legal system,” Horsford said in a Twitter statement.

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman called the violent arrest a failure to society in a Twitter statement Friday.

“This is the sickest, most revolting act of humanity I have ever seen in my adult lifetime. It is about the essence of man, the failure of society, the failure of family, the failure of law and righteousness. This is not about law enforcement. This is about humanity and the sickness that is part of today. It is intolerable, and must be dealt with, and must not paint others with this sick brush. I am sickened beyond words to express my horror,” Mayor Goodman said.

State advocates for racial justice and greater police accountability reminded the community that there is a lot of work to do in Nevada to address issues of excessive use of force.

“The vicious murder of Tyre Nichols is yet another example of an out-of-control policing system that continues to go largely unchecked. This is a national problem and if you think Nevada is immune from these issues, have a conversation with the mothers of Jorge Gomez or Isaiah Williams. Without bodycam footage, Tyre’s story wouldn’t have been told and another Black man beaten to death by the police would have simply had his character denigrated to justify horrific abuse.  If there are protests here in Nevada, I would urge law enforcement to avoid the hyper-reactive policing approach it adopted two years ago, when peaceful protestors and legal observers were attacked and arrested by law enforcement for simply exercising their right to peacefully assemble and protest. Actions to undermine the First Amendment by the government will be met with an appropriate response in court,” ACLU of Nevada Executive Director, Athar Haseebullah said.

The NAACP Las Vegas Branch president also made a statement saying they hope the officers involved are held accountable and that justice is served.

“The work to advance and expand civil rights persists no matter who the perpetrator is. The death of Tyre Nichols shows us that the problem of policing is foundational in the culture of policing in America. There is a quiet consensus to terminate the lives of Black and Brown men, one that we should all be concerned with. I hope the officers involved in this egregious act are held accountable, but true justice here means taking action and making changes. Changes that beget greater transparency, accountability and justice for families that are mistreated by those entrusted to safeguard our communities,” NAACP LAs Vegas Branch President Quentin Savqoir said.

In a Twitter statement Friday, Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford stated the officers involved failed their community, humanity, and their oaths to society.

“Tonight, the world saw video of unspeakable police brutality that ultimately led to Tyre Nichols’ death. Tyre was a devoted son and father to his own 4-year-old little boy. He loved to skateboard and take pictures of the sunset. Tyre had his mother’s name tattooed on his arm and ate dinner with her on his meal breaks. He was a person, with dreams, with goals, with aspirations, all of which were taken from him through actions both brutal and cruel – prime examples of what law enforcement must not be. The officers involved failed their community, their humanity and their oaths to society. Law enforcement must listen to the pain of this community, and we must take a firm stand that actions like the ones we saw on video tonight will never be accepted by us. No mother, no child, no family should have to go through what Tyre’s family is going through. My prayers are with Tyre’s family and the entire city of Memphis as they reckon with their heartbreak,” Ford said.

Washoe County Sheriff’s Office called the video “alarming” as well as sent their thoughts and prayers to the friends and family of Nichols in a Twitter statement Friday.

“The video released by the Memphis Police Department pertaining to the death of Tyre Nichols is alarming and difficult to watch. Regional Law Enforcement agencies are encouraged by the steps taken thus far in furtherance of a just outcome and our thoughts and prayers are with the friends and family of Mr. Nichols. Local law enforcement agencies understand that viewing intense footage like this may result in strong feelings in our community. As police leaders, we share many of these feelings and will continue to partner with all segments of our community to work toward a peaceful and productive response,” Washoe County Sheriff’s Office said.

Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo issued a statement late Friday night stating he is deeply disturbed by the death of Nichols.

“As a law enforcement veteran, I’m deeply disturbed by the death of Tyre Nichols. The brutality and violence displayed by the five former Memphis police officers is unacceptable and shameful, and it has no place in law enforcement. We must condemn these actions in the strongest possible terms,” Lombardo said.

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