The New York Post reported that five Memphis police officers were charged with second-degree murder this week in connection with the beating death of motorist Tyre Nichols.
The five men are also facing charges of aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct, and official oppression according to a statement released by Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy.
"While each of the five individuals played a different role in the incident in question, the actions of all of them resulted in the death of Tyre Nichols, and they are all responsible," Mulroy was quoted as saying at a press conference.
Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland released a statement on Thursday in which he spoke of being "sad and angry for the family of Tyre Nichols."
"I am also angry for the many good men and women of the Memphis Police Department who devote their lives to serving our citizens," Strickland continued. "We must all work to regain the public’s trust and work together to heal the wounds these events have caused."
Statement from Mayor Strickland.https://t.co/wbDFdRMTKZ
— City of Memphis (@CityOfMemphis) January 26, 2023
Meanwhile, Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis released a video statement on Wednesday evening during which she denounced the beating of Nichols as being "heinous, reckless, and inhumane."
"This is not just a professional failing. This is a failing of basic humanity towards another individual," Davis insisted, adding that the officer involved "failed our community, and they failed the Nichols family."
"This is beyond regrettable. I expect you to feel what the Nichols family feels," the police chief declared. "I expect you to feel outrage in the disregard of basic human rights, as our police officers have taken an oath to do the opposite of what transpired on the video."
However, Davis then went on to warn against violent unrest, saying, "I expect our citizens to exercise their First Amendment right to protest, to demand action and results."
"But we need to ensure our community is safe in this process. None of this is a calling card for inciting violence or destruction on our community or our citizens," she asserted.
The Post reported that President Joe Biden spoke up on Thursday as well, calling for peaceful protest when footage from the officers' bodycam footage is released.
"Outrage is understandable, but violence is never acceptable," he said. "Violence is destructive and against the law. It has no place in peaceful protests seeking justice."