Mayor Wheeler, Portland leaders denounce deadly police beating of Tyre Nichols

Published: Jan. 27, 2023 at 2:50 PM PST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - Mayor Ted Wheeler, Portland City Council members, Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell, NAACP Portland President James Posey, and former State Senator Margaret Carter met Friday to publicly denounce the events that led to the death of Tyre Nichols in Memphis, Tennessee.

“The City of Portland and Multnomah County are united in denouncing the horrific events that led to the heartbreaking death of Tyre Nichols,” the city leaders said in a joint statement released Friday afternoon. “We offer our sincere condolences for the unimaginable pain Tyre’s family now faces and stand with the Memphis community as it grapples with this terrible loss.”

“We also feel the rippling effects of this tragedy in our own communities as we all anxiously await the results of the pending investigation. We support Oregonians across the state who want to raise their voices and exercise their right to be heard; we also echo the request of Tyre Nichols’ family and urge the community to do so in a peaceful, non-violent way.”

“While the City of Portland and Police Bureau are firmly and consistently supportive of people exercising their free speech and assembly rights, we also underscore the call for peaceful gatherings made by Mr. Nichols’ family,” said Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell. “We know that violence and injuries are avoidable and want safety for all Portlanders. We share this outrage, but we ask for peaceful and orderly demonstrations.”

Lovell added that police officers would monitor any demonstrations in the city and take action as necessary.

Authorities on Friday released police video depicting five Memphis officers beating a Black man whose death resulted in murder charges and provoked outrage at the country’s latest instance of police brutality. Family members of Tyre Nichols pleaded for any protests to remain peaceful.

The officers, all of whom are Black, were charged Thursday with murder and other crimes in the killing of Nichols, a motorist who died three days after a Jan. 7 confrontation with the officers during a traffic stop.

Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy told a news conference that although the officers each played different roles in the killing, “they are all responsible.”

Nichols’ family members and their lawyers said the footage shows officers savagely beating the 29-year-old FedEx worker for three minutes in an assault that the legal team likened to the infamous 1991 police beating of Los Angeles motorist Rodney King.

Video of the traffic stop will be released sometime Friday evening, authorities said, noting that investigators wanted to complete as many interviews as possible before making the footage public. Nichols’ family members viewed the video Monday.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.