The Memphis police chief deserves credit for doing her part to charge the five former officers involved in Tyre Nichols’ police beating death with crimes — and also now must take accountability and help rebuild community trust, the city council chair said Saturday.
“Starting with the head of the police department all the way down to the recruits in the class right now, they have a vast responsibility to go out into this community to rebuild trust,” Martavius Jones told CNN’s Jim Acosta.
“It’s going to be incumbent upon them to be visible, to listen,” added Jones, noting he was the “lone” council member to vote against Cerelyn “CJ” Davis’ confirmation as chief but is “willing to give her the benefit of the doubt.”
The civil rights attorney representing Nichols’ family also applauded Davis for arresting and, with Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy, charging the five Black officers within 20 days of Nichols’ vicious encounter with officers near his home.
“When you see police officers commit crimes against citizens, then we want you to act just as swiftly and show, as the chief said, the community needs to see it,” Ben Crump said. “But we need to see it, too, when it’s White police officers.”
Some background: Davis took charge of the Memphis Police Department only 20 months ago. Known nationally as an advocate for police reform, she touted big plans, including forging new ties with community leaders and working to reduce violent crime — with hopes to elicit trust in law enforcement in Tennessee’s second-most populous city.
Now, Tyre Nichols’ beating death puts her leadership to a crucial test.
Read more about Davis here.