Local law enforcement officials, community leaders continue to lament death of Tyre Nichols

Anger and heartbreak over the police killing of Tyre Nichols in Memphis is felt around Puget Sound this weekend.

Hours after video was released of Nichols’ fatal beating by Memphis police officers, demonstrators marched peacefully through Seattle.

Nichols’ family called for peace, and leaders of Seattle’s Black community are keeping those wishes front and center.

“We also lament with the family that’s grieving deeply because of something that should have never, ever occurred,” said Pastor Harvey Drake of Emerald City Bible Fellowship.

Community leaders met with reporters Friday as the video from Memphis was being released.

“I believe in protesting but not in a violent way,” said Victoria Beach of the African American Community Advisory Council.

Across Western Washington, sheriffs and police chiefs are released statements condemning the actions of the Memphis officers.

“I woke up this morning feeling very heavy about the whole thing,” said Monica Alexander, Executive Director of the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission.

“It hurts me to see police officers acting that way because I know what people think, ‘that’s how they all are,’” Alexander said. “And that’s not true, but we have to address it when it happens in a very aggressive manner.”

Alexander said Washington has come a long way in training police officers, but says there is still much work to do.

“We have to figure out a way to love our law enforcement partners and hold them accountable, it’s not either/or,” she said.

Washington voters passed Initiative 940 in 2018 to increase police accountability and make it easier to pass bring criminal charges against police officers who improperly use deadly force.

It also required de-escalation and mental health training.

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