Heather Willard / NewsBreak Denver / Jan. 30, 2023
(Douglas County, Colo.) Colorado officials, including members of Douglas County law enforcement, offered their thoughts on the body camera footage released by the Memphis Police Department about the beating death of Tyre Nichols by police officers.
Five police officers were fired and face charges in the 29-year-old’s death. More have been relieved of duty while the investigation progresses, and a special unit was permanently disbanded hours after thevideo’s release.
Castle Rock Police Chief Jack Cauley called the officers’ actions criminal.
"After watching the beating and murder of Tyre Nichols by former Memphis police officers and reflecting this weekend, I am at a loss for the right words,” Cauley wrote in a social media post. “Appalling, senseless, indefensible and barbaric come to mind (...) Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Nichols’ family and friends.”
Cauley also called the officers’ actions disgraceful to the profession. Protests and rallies sprung up across the country after the Memphis Police released the body camera footage depicting Nichols’ beating. Those protests echoed those that followed the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, which called for defunding and dispersing law enforcement agencies to prevent unauthorized use of deadly force.
Agency leaders say anti-police sentiment makes it difficult to recruit new officers. Most agencies, including the Castle Rock Police Department and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, are actively recruiting.
Douglas County Sheriff Darren Weekly voiced similar sentiments to Cauley’s.
"As a 29-year veteran law enforcement officer and as the Sheriff of Douglas County, I was horrified and disgusted by the brutality committed by the five Memphis Police Officers in the beating death of Tyre Nichols. All five are a disgrace to our profession,” he said.
“The overwhelming majority of law enforcement officers in our country go to work everyday and serve their community admirably.
Weekly called for law enforcement to continue to be held to a “higher standard” than the average citizen.
“Nobody has more disdain for bad cops than those who serve and protect with honor,” he said. “My office is committed to upholding the law, properly training our staff, and protecting the rights of all citizens in our community."
Cauley recommitted his department to serving Castle Rock and cited the continued implementation of the One-By-One Policing model in treating everyone with dignity and respect.
“We know the path forward for the policing profession — including our own agency — is through building healthy organizational cultures with a focus on serving people as individuals, creating safe and secure environments and helping people thrive," Cauley said.
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