Tyre Nichols: Georgians react to release of Memphis police body camera video

Reactions came quickly to the police bodycam footage released Friday night showing Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man from Memphis, being beaten by five police officers during a traffic stop back on January 7. He died three days later, leaving his 4-year-old son without a father and his family without many answers.

Four of the five former Memphis police officers charged with murder and other crimes in the killing of 29-year-old Nichols were released from jail on bond Friday. The Memphis Police Department released footage of Tyre Nichols' traffic stop around 7 p.m. on Friday. 


President Biden released a statement saying he was "outraged and deeply pained" by the video. It reads:

"Like so many, I was outraged and deeply pained to see the horrific video of the beating that resulted in Tyre Nichols’ death. It is yet another painful reminder of the profound fear and trauma, the pain, and the exhaustion that Black and Brown Americans experience every single day.

"My heart goes out to Tyre Nichols’ family and to Americans in Memphis and across the country who are grieving this tremendously painful loss. The footage that was released this evening will leave people justifiably outraged. Those who seek justice should not to resort to violence or destruction. Violence is never acceptable; it is illegal and destructive. I join Mr. Nichols’ family in calling for peaceful protest.

"I spoke with RowVaughn Wells and Rodney Wells, Mr. Nichols’ mother and stepfather, this afternoon. There are no words to describe the heartbreak and grief of losing a beloved child and young father. Nothing can bring Mr. Nichols back to his family and the Memphis community. But Mr. and Mrs. Wells, Mr. Nichols’ son, and his whole family deserve a swift, full, and transparent investigation.

"We must do everything in our power to ensure our criminal justice system lives up to the promise of fair and impartial justice, equal treatment, and dignity for all. Real and lasting change will only come if we take action to prevent tragedies like this from ever happening again. That is why I called on Congress to send the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to my desk. When Senate Republicans blocked that bill, I signed an executive order that mandated stricter use of force standards and accountability provisions for federal law enforcement, as well as measures to strengthen accountability at the state and local level."

Sen. Jon Ossoff says the release of the videos is a reminder sworn officers must uphold the highest standards of human rights. He calls for establishing national standards for use of force:

"The horrific killing of Tyre Nichols in Memphis has once again shaken the nation’s conscience. Mr. Nichols and his family deserve justice.

"Those who are sworn to protect and serve must be held to the highest standards of accountability. Whether on our streets or in our prisons and jails, brutal disregard for human rights offends the principles enshrined in our Constitution. I continue to call for Federal legislation to establish national standards for the use of force by law enforcement.

"I call on all engaged in protest to remain peaceful."


Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp expressed similar sentiments writing:

"Marty, the girls, and I were truly shaken and deeply saddened by the footage of events that led to Tyre Nichols' tragic death. We are praying for his family and community during this time of heartbreak. As citizens express their grief and reactions to his killing, the state continues to respect the right of peaceful protest."

Protesters gather peacefully in Downtown Atlanta after the Memphis Police Department released footage of Tyre Nichols' traffic stop on Jan. 27. 2023.

Protesters gather peacefully in Downtown Atlanta after the Memphis Police Department released footage of Tyre Nichols' traffic stop on Jan. 27. 2023. (FOX 5)

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation wrote:

"Our thoughts are with the family of Tyre Nichols, who died at the hands of officers in Memphis, TN.

"Being sworn to uphold the law comes with great responsibility. Law enforcement officers operating outside the law must be held accountable for their actions. Trust between law enforcement & our communities is invaluable. The egregious actions of these officers seriously undermine efforts to strengthen police and community relationships.

"As an agency, we are committed to treating the public with dignity and respect, even those we may have in custody. Our code of ethics and standards of conduct demand this. Any act of violence toward a person in police custody is inexcusable.

"We are charged with conducting criminal investigations in this state, and sometimes, this includes investigating officer use of force incidents and other police misconduct. We will continue to conduct thorough and transparent investigations to find the facts of a case and provide them to a prosecutor.

"It is our hope that we can all come together and find solutions to make our cities safer and that the actions of a few do not define the heroic acts of thousands of men and women who wear the badge with honor and distinction every day."

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens echoed those sentiments, but vowed this video must be a teachable moment:

"Once again, we bear witness to a horrific act—a vile and brutal attack of a young unarmed Black man in America by officers who were sworn to serve and protect. I know I am not alone in my feelings of sickness and anger in the attack on Mr. Tyre Nichols. I grieve with my community, and my heart goes out to Mr. Nichols’ family.

"I am encouraged by the swift action taken by Memphis leaders to seek accountability from those responsible, and that these former officers have been charged. I spoke with Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland this week, and I believe he is personally committed to justice in this case and healing in his city.

"The Atlanta Police Department has taken great strides in recent years to fully implement vital policing reforms, and that work continues. Still, as this act of utter brutality in Memphis shows us, we must stay vigilant and continue to train our officers to the highest standards.

"I have asked Chief Schierbaum, Chief Smith and Chief Dancy to review this video and case with the command and training staffs of the Atlanta public safety departments. We must use this moment to learn, to end these unspeakable acts of violence.

"To those who are called to lift their voices and demonstrate: know that the City of Atlanta and our public safety agencies are prepared to support peaceful protest in our city. I am a firm proponent of full participation, community dialogue and peaceful demonstration. I ask for peace, and your partnership to not allow agitators to try to co-opt non-violent protest and put people in harm’s way.

"In Atlanta, we have robust processes in place to report and investigate allegations of police misconduct. If you have witnessed or experienced misconduct, you can report it either through ATL311 or to the Atlanta Citizen Review Board."

Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum wrote:

"I am deeply disturbed and heartbroken by the murder of Tyre Nichols at the hands of 5 former Memphis police officers. The video of the arrest was disturbing and showcased multiple failures by these officers to handle this situation professionally or competently. The actions of these officers has severely impacted law enforcement's relationship with our communities, from coast to coast 

"As chief, I will work to restore and improve the trust our communities have had in the APD. We will not tolerate brutality. We will hold officers accountable when they violate the law. The Atlanta Police Department will continue to be a constitutional agency, committed to our communities and this profession, competent in our skills and training, as well as compassionate wherever we go. 

"I'm proud of the members of the Atlanta Police Department who uphold their oath daily." 

The King Center says it mourns the death of Tyre Nichols as nation witnesses deadly beating during a "simple" traffic stop: 

"The King Center mourns the death of Tyre Nichols at the hands of Memphis police. We mourn with his family as they witnessed, via video, the brutal, dehumanizing beating that caused his death after a simple traffic stop. 

"Time and time again, our nation reckons with radicalized police violence towards predominantly Black and Brown people. This traumatizing reality must be confronted and changed. 

"Human beings deserve to be treated with respect, including by police officers who wield weapons and can inhumanely weaponize their positions. 

"Even as Nichols was fighting for his life, the officers and first responders ignored the clear signs indicating that he needed medical assistance. This reprehensible behavior took his dignity and subsequently his life. 

"This is a deeply rooted cultural and systemic issue that cannot be solved by good thoughts and well-wishes. We must employ a Beloved Community Mindset to transform, and, in some cases, deconstruct, these unjust systems that continue to devastate families and communities. 

"We call for justice, which is a component of true peace. Justice not only includes accountability for the officers who beat and killed Nichols but must also entail accountability for the system which consistently perpetuates this violence."