Arlington County Board Statement on Tyre Nichols

Published on January 30, 2023

It is with heavy hearts that the Arlington County Board joins the nation in grieving the senseless murder of Tyre Nichols. We condemn in the fullest terms the horrific acts committed by the hands of Memphis police. For his family, friends, and all who knew him, we are sick with grief and sadness. 

The brutal assault on Tyre Nichols, yet another fully restrained, scared, and vulnerable Black man, is beyond appalling. Equally horrifying was the callous disregard for his distress and failure to promptly render aid from those who had taken oaths to serve and protect Mr. Nichols. They robbed him of his life and his dignity. These actions were sadistic, cowardly and criminal, and deserve our harshest condemnation and the full punishment of the law.  

Memphis is to be commended for holding the officers and other first responders accountable for their brutal assault and failure to promptly render aid to Tyre Nichols, but we cannot conflate accountability with justice. Justice in this case would mean that Tyre Nichols would have left this encounter with the ability to realize his future— to be a father to his son and to remain the apple of his mother’s eye. 

While we are centered on supporting the Memphis community in healing from this tragic event, we know that our community wants reassurance that this won’t happen in Arlington. The Arlington County Police Department is dedicated to a culture of caring and respect, not excessive force, cruelty or violence. The standards set for and upheld by our officers are important in cultivating this culture, as are our systems of accountability, like the Community Oversight Board and our ongoing commitment to implement the recommendations of the Police Practices Working Group. Furthermore, as we reflect on Tyre Nichols’ senseless killing, we will not shy away from demanding more from ourselves so that no Arlington family has to endure what the Nichols family is going through. 

If Tyre Nichols’ death and coverage of his encounter with the Memphis police has triggered a mental health emergency for you or someone you know, Arlington County crisis counselors are ready to help and can be reached at the 24-Hour Emergency Line at 703-228-5160.

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