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Rockingham County Sheriff Sam Page Shares His Thoughts on the Death of Tyre Nichols and the Actions of the Memphis Police Officers Involved

[Rockingham County, N.C.] – After watching the video camera footage released by Memphis Police Department regarding the death of Tyre Nichols, Rockingham County Sheriff Sam Page had this to say:

“About a week ago, I found out about the in-custody death of Tyre Nichols following a traffic stop involving five Memphis Tennessee Police Officers on January 7th, 2023. I also learned that the officers’ body camera footage was going to be released to the public later in the week. On Friday evening, I sat in my office and watched the newly released footage, I was outraged by what I saw. I was totally shocked by what unfolded on the video and I was saddened for Tyre Nichols’ family and what they were having to endure.

What I observed on the video of the traffic stop and subsequent beating of Tyre Nichols was, in my opinion, not only horrible but the officers’ actions were criminal in nature. After watching the video, several thoughts came to mind, but the most prominent was that law enforcement officers are NOT trained to carry out our duties in the manner that these five officers did.

The brutal beating of this young man at the hands of these officers was not only unbelievably horrific, but unlawful. In law enforcement, we have a duty to intervene in situations of excessive force used by other officers; and then, to report the activity to hold accountable the officer(s) involved. From what I observed, not one of these uniformed officers stepped in to stop the beating of Tyre Nichols at the hands of their fellow law enforcement officers, and not one offered to provide him timely medical attention following the attack.

Serving as Sheriff for 25 years and a law enforcement officer for more than 40 years, I believe that the Memphis District Attorney and Chief of Police made the correct decision to hold these five officers accountable for their wrongful actions with dismissals and criminal charges.

Everyday, we in law enforcement try to build trust and respect in the communities that we serve, but a few officers and their actions can tarnish those relationships with the citizens we serve across this great nation. When officers violate the law, they MUST be held accountable.

In closing, I would ask everyone to pray for Tyre Nichols’ family, the community, and the nearly 800,000 law enforcement officers across America who go out each day to serve and protect our many communities as the professionals they are.”

Sheriff Sam Page

Rockingham County, North Carolina