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Local law enforcement prepares for possible unrest after release of video showing arrest, beating of Tyre Nichols

SOUTHERN COLORADO (KRDO) -- Ahead of the public release of videos showing the arrest and violent beating of a 29-year-old Black man in Memphis, Tenn., law enforcement agencies across the country are bracing for possible protests and civil unrest.

Police departments in Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Nashville, Milwaukee, Seattle, Denver, Dallas, New York, and Atlanta told CNN they are either monitoring the events in Memphis closely or already have plans in place in case of large-scale protests or unrest.

Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn “CJ” Davis said the video of the traffic stop that ended in the death of Tyre Nichols shows "acts that defy humanity."

Before the video's release, 13 Investigates reached out to multiple Southern Colorado law enforcement agencies on whether or not they're bracing for possible unrest.

Colorado Springs Police tell 13 Investigates they are ready and actively preparing for any protests that may occur after Memphis Police release the Police Body Worn camera video of Nichols’ violent arrest later this afternoon. 

As to what those preparations look like, Colorado Springs cannot provide any additional information at this time.

After the video was released to the public at 5 p.m. MST, Colorado Springs Chief of Police Adrian Vasquez released the following statement:

Today, with many of you, I viewed the release of the body worn camera by the Memphis Police Department.

I was horrified by what I witnessed. I want to offer my condolences, and those of everyone on the Colorado Springs Police Department, to the family of Tyre Nichols. We respect and honor Mr. Nichols’ family. They have called for justice and I appreciate that they are also calling for peace as their community works through this tragedy.

While suffering an immense loss they have shown honor and grace. They have given the judicial system time to investigate and seek justice on Mr. Nichols’ behalf.

Second, I want to emphasize that all police departments should be having conversations with our communities about what law enforcement looks like moving forward. This includes the Colorado Springs Police Department. The conversations we’re currently having regarding police use of force in our community focus on procedural justice, which is vital to building trust with the Colorado Springs community.

It is healthy to have these conversations and we can disagree about some points but what is clear is the behavior displayed by the Memphis officers is appalling and indefensible. It cannot be tolerated by officers, by the judicial process, or by our communities.

Let me be very clear, this tragedy never should have happened. I have faith that the judicial system in Memphis will seek justice for Mr. Nichols and his family.

To my community, as Chief of Police I remain committed to emphasizing our dedication and service built on a foundation of fairness, impartiality, transparency, and ensuring all people have a voice. This pursuit goes on daily. I thank you for the trust you’ve placed in the Colorado Springs Police Department.

Chief Adrian Vasquez

Pueblo Police Chief Chris Noeller released a statement Friday morning condemning the former Memphis officers.

The members of the Pueblo Police Department and I are deeply saddened and disgusted by the murder of Tyre Nichols at the hands of five Memphis Police Officers on January 10, 2023.

As the Chief of the Pueblo Police Department, I want to express my deep regret and condemnation of these actions. There is no place for brutality or abuse of power within our profession. As law enforcement officers, we have a sacred duty to serve and protect our community, and any violation of that duty is a betrayal of the trust placed in us by those we serve.

I want to assure you that our department is committed to the highest standards of professionalism and integrity. We have strict policies in place to prevent and address any instances of misconduct, and we take all complaints of abuse seriously. I understand that these incidents can cause great harm and mistrust in communities across the country and here in Pueblo. As Chief, I am committed to working with the citizens of Pueblo to continue building trust and fostering stronger relationships between our officers and the public we serve.

Please know that I am here to listen and we will do our best to make sure that such incidents don't happen here.

The actions of these five officers have once again blemished the reputations of those of us who come to work everyday to serve our communities with honor and integrity and robbed a family of their loved one.

Our thoughts are with the family of Tyre Nichols, the citizens of Memphis, and the good men and women of the Memphis Police Department and other agencies throughout the country who work hard every day to deliver the highest level of service and uphold the values of Honor, Integrity, and Service every day. 

Chris Noeller
Chief of Police

Chief Noeller agreed to sit down with 13 Investigates and speak further on the arrest.

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