Police chiefs in Canada condemn death of unarmed Black man beaten by U.S. officers

An image grabbed from dash cam footage of the incident involving Tyre Nichols and Memphis Police. (Courtesy: Memphis Police)

Police chiefs across Canada condemned the death of an unarmed Black man who was beaten by police officers at a traffic stop in the U.S..

The condemnation comes after police in Memphis, Tenn. released body cam footage on Friday of the Jan. 7 attack against 29-year-old Tyre Nichols.

The video shows five officers involved in holding Nichols down and punching him as he repeatedly screamed for his mother. He died three days later in hospital.

“I am profoundly saddened by the murder of Tyre Nichols in Memphis, Tennessee. On behalf of the Toronto Police Service, I condemn the violent actions of the officers involved,” Toronto police Chief Myron Demkiw said in a post on Twitter Friday. 

Demkiw also offered condolences to Nichols’ family and friends, and said actions of the officers in Memphis will have a long standing-impact on our communities in Toronto.

The Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police released a statement saying it is also shocked by the murder. 

“The circumstances surrounding Mr. Nichols’ death are not only criminal, but horrific and highly disturbing to us as police professionals,” the association wrote. 

It added that the duty of officers must always be done in a transparent, professional manner and that “every officer understands that they are accountable for their actions.”

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh tweeted he “stands with Tyre’s family and all who seek justice.” 

The chiefs of police in Peel Region and Windsor also issued statements to condemn the actions of the officers charged. 

The five police officers have been charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression. 

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