The UC Davis Police Department and all of Yolo County law enforcement issued statements Friday (Jan. 27) registering disgust and distress over the fatal beating of Tyre Nichols by Memphis, Tennessee, police. Also Friday, campus Police Chief Joe Farrow joined Chancellor Gary S. May in a statement of condemnation, and UC President Michael V. Drake similarly expressed his outrage.
The UC Davis Police Department’s statement expressed “disgust and condemnation” and declared, “We stand united against police brutality of any kind.”
The statement continued: “Let’s remember that atrocities like that against Tyre Nichols reverberate across families, communities and the country. Let’s find strength in coming together to make and support the positive changes in our own communities.” Campus police called for unity and the peaceful remembrance of Mr. Nichols.
Members of the Yolo County sheriff's office, district attorney's office and five police departments (Davis, UC Davis, West Sacramento, Winters and Woodland) “are deeply saddened and distressed about the brutal and senseless death of Tyre Nichols at the hands of police officers sworn to serve and protect their community,“ the sheriff, DA and police chiefs said in their statement. “We find ourselves once again sickened at these divisive and senseless acts of police violence and abuse of power under the guise of law.”
The statement continued: “We want to reassure the public that our agencies have strict policies in place that prohibit the use of unreasonable force, require officers to immediately intervene if excessive force is attempted or used, require a duty to immediately report all force and provide immediate professional medical attention when needed. Officers are guided by the principle of reverence for human life in all investigative, enforcement and other contacts between themselves and members of the public.
“Our departments remain genuinely committed in our efforts to serve our community members, providing services in a professional, fair and equitable manner, and with dignity and respect for all people and human life. We are also committed to holding officers accountable should they violate policies and laws that exist to protect the public.”
And here is some of what UC Davis and UC leaders had to say:
- Chancellor May and Chief Farrow — “We join other voices in expressing our anger and disgust, and we condemn the officers’ actions, while recognizing that condemnation is not justice. Tyre was 29 years old, and his mother recalled his love of skateboarding, taking pictures, sunsets and his family. Now we share our grief with his mother and his loved ones. Our minds are still coming to terms with how this could happen, again. We wonder when we will see true change that makes such incidents a thing of the past.”
- President Drake — “I am sickened and outraged by this utterly senseless killing, as we all have been by too many others that have preceded it. It is yet another painful reminder of the constant flow of systemic racism and injustice that communities of color continue to endure.”