Local police address Tyre Nichols case, expected release of body cam video

Published: Jan. 27, 2023 at 3:32 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 27, 2023 at 3:55 PM EST
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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - On Friday, two local police departments shared the importance of the positive relationship between law enforcement and residents as the Tyre Nichols investigation continued.

As the nation awaits the release of police body cam video that will show what happened when Memphis, TN officers pulled over and confronted Nichols, 29, who later died, local police departments are reacting. The Deerfield Police Department took to Facebook with a statement that read, in part:

“The brutality suffered by Mr. Nichols and the failure of any of these individuals to intervene is sickening and leaves everyone, including police officers, disgusted, infuriated, and outraged.”

“As a police department we remain committed to emphasizing dignity and respect for all and instilling within our agencies a fundamental commitment to the preservation of human life. But we must, and will, do more.”

In Springfield, the police department is focused on bringing back a program designed to strengthen the relationship between police and the community: the citizen’s police academy. It’s a 12-week course that is coming back for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic started.

“From past experience, 85, 95 percent of the people in our community that go through it, they have rave reviews. It’s extremely popular,” said Springfield Police spokesperson Ryan Walsh.

While Walsh couldn’t comment on the Nichols case, he told Western Mass News that it’s important for citizens and the police department to be able to work together.

“Anytime that we can bring our community together and police officers together, especially in an environment where they’re getting to know each other over the course of three months, it’s always helpful,” Walsh added.

Massachusetts Secretary of Public Safety and Security Terrance Reidy said in a statement:

“On behalf of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, I extend our deepest sympathy to the loved ones of Tyre Nichols. We join the Memphis community and the nation in mourning his senseless death and strongly condemn the egregious actions of the five former officers indicted for murder. Their reprehensible conduct threatens the trust essential to the relationship between police and the communities they serve. We stand with those who seek justice and accountability for Tyre and his family and call for peaceful demonstration from those who will understandably exercise their right to have their voices heard. The Commonwealth reaffirms its commitment to implementing meaningful reforms, fostering trust in police-community relations, and advancing a fair and equitable criminal justice system for all.”

As Springfield Police accepts applications for the next class that starts in March, he shared what people can learn from the updated syllabus.

“We’ll put them in our simulator. That gives them some, actually, real-life action simulations of what police officers have to do in making their split-second decisions and everything from the history of the police department to some of the laws and everything that goes on now, forensics,” Walsh explained.

Police body cam footage from the Memphis incident is expected to be released Friday night.

Massachusetts State Police Col. Christopher Mason added in a statement:

Mass. State Police Col. Christopher Mason released a statement regarding the death of Tyre...
Mass. State Police Col. Christopher Mason released a statement regarding the death of Tyre Nichols(Mass. State Police)

You can CLICK HERE for more information for the Springfield citizens police academy.