tyre nichols

Illinois Elected Officials React to Release of Tyre Nichols Police Body Camera Video

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Community leaders and elected officials from Chicago, the suburbs and around Illinois are sharing reactions to the release of body camera footage showing the fatal police beating of Tyre Nichols in Memphis.

Footage released Friday shows 29-year-old Nichols being beaten by police officers who held the Black motorist down and repeatedly struck him with their fists, boots and batons as he screamed for his mother and pleaded, “I just want to go home.”

The video is filled with violent moments showing the officers, who are also Black, chasing and pummeling Nichols and leaving him on the pavement propped against a squad car as they fist-bumped and celebrated their actions.

The footage emerged one day after the officers were charged with murder in Nichols’ death. 

Several Illinois politicians, community activists and others have shared their thoughts in statements and on social media following the video's release.

Among them is Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who released the following statement:

"As a Black mother, I can only imagine the pain, grief, and frustration that is consuming the family of Tyre Nichols and the entire Memphis community. Make no mistake: what happened to Tyre was a horrific, unconscionable, and preventable act of violence carried out by those sworn to serve and protect. As we know all too well, tragic incidents like these not only send ripples of anguish across our country, but further erode trust between law enforcement and communities—especially those that are Black and Brown. Knowing that today's news will reopen painful wounds for all those who loved Tyre, I urge everyone who is rightfully calling for justice to express themselves peacefully.  Seeing a Black man murdered by the police will always spark feelings of outrage, pain, and despair. It's important for us to channel those emotions into working together and ensuring that as a nation, we continue to hold our law enforcement officers to the highest standards of ethical, professional and constitutional policing.  It is dismaying that these officers were young in their profession and men of color themselves.  It's clear that there is much more systemic work that must be done. In the meantime, my prayers continue to be with Tyre's family, friends, community as well as the other residents of Memphis as they continue to cope with this unimaginable loss.” 

In a statement, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said, "Tyre Nichols should still be with us. Instead, he fell victim to yet another instance of horrific violence perpetrated by those sworn to serve and protect."

"I am outraged," she said. "I am devastated - every single time. And can we finally all agree that there have been far too many times? I grieve with the family of Tyre Nichols and mourn for everyone unjustly killed by police. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family who, despite facing the unthinkable, are calling for peace amid anger and devastation. The merciless killing of Tyre Nichols at the hands of policemen while even more officers stood by is not only devastating, it once again highlights the systemic failures in policing that we must address before we lose yet another innocent life."

Additional statements are below:

Associated Press/NBC Chicago
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