Chief Weathers talks with WKYT about policing in Lexington in wake of Tyre Nichols video release
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - More protests are expected following the release of police video showing the violent encounter between Memphis officers and Tyre Nichols.
Over the weekend, protesters took to the streets in cities across the country after Memphis police released video of the brutal beating that led to the 29-year-old’s death three days later.
Five officers involved were fired and are charged with murder. Four others who arrived on the scene, including two firefighters, are also under investigation.
In response to the video, Lexington Police Chief Lawrence Weather said he was “angered and saddened by the acts of those who had sworn to protect and serve.”
Weathers says he, like many others across the country, watched the videos released by the Memphis Police Department of the beating of Tyre Nichols.
He called what he saw overwhelming and said it is “heartbreaking and sad to see that kind of disregard for human life, especially from people who are sworn to protect that.”
He says actions such as those seen in the videos have an impact on policing worldwide, that it affects everything police are working for, adding that, in his opinion, in just a space of minutes, those actions put police back past what they have accomplished.
Chief Weathers says it is “beyond comprehension for him” that any police officer would think those actions would be even remotely acceptable, adding that those actions are not representative of the Lexington Police Department.
“This is not us. This is not what policing is supposed to be about,” said Chief Weathers. “We take people to justice. We do not dispense the punishment. That is not for us. That is not our place.”
Chief Weathers says it is more important than ever that police officers are chosen carefully, adding that the department cannot and will not cut corners to increase its staffing. He says he will make sure they have the most professional police officers who respect life and respect the community.
Body cameras have played a large role in the Tyre Nichols story. In Lexington, police officers do use body cameras. Chief Weathers says they increase officer accountability and help build public trust.
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