By Olivia Anderson | [email protected]
Following the recent Memphis police incident in which a man was beaten to death by police officers, the Alexandria Police Department released a statement denouncing the attack.
Signed by Police Chief Don Hayes, the statement says that APD members are “deeply disturbed” by the released footage of the violent encounter between Memphis officers and Tyre Nichols at a traffic stop that ultimately led to Nichols’ death.
“The deplorable actions of these officers not only illustrate a complete disregard for the sanctity of human life but violate the fundamental values of the law enforcement profession as a whole,” the statement reads.
It goes on to state that the impact of excessive force is a stark reminder of the importance of accountability within policing, and that this incident undermines APD’s efforts to strengthen community relationships and foster trust.
“We share in their grief and in the heartache the community feels. We also want to assure our community these actions are the antithesis of APD’s values,” the statement reads. “Every member of our department is dedicated to serving the Alexandria community with integrity and empathy. Our department values the sanctity of life and appreciates the trust the community places in us.”
The Alexandria Sheriff’s Office also released a statement condemning the incident. Signed by Sheriff Sean Casey, the statement highlights ASO’s recently adopted policy of active bystandership that “requires employees to intervene when they witness another engaging in unacceptable conduct.” The policy was implemented following George Floyd’s murder three years ago in Minneapolis, Minn.
“We will be reinforcing this by immediately conducting mandatory refresher training for all deputies on peer intervention as well as on our use of force policies,” Casey wrote. “I remain committed to working toward a more just society and ensuring that our profession does all we can to prevent abuse of power.”