Patten reacts to Tyre Nichols video: Says officers should police their own

Published 12:08 pm Saturday, January 28, 2023

NATCHEZ — Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten reacted Friday night on social media to the body camera and other video footage released involving the death of Tyre Nichols of Memphis.

The Memphis Police Department waited until 6 p.m. Friday __ after school was let out and many stores and businesses were closed — to release the video to the public for fear of violent protests that could follow.

“My heart hurts for the Nichols family, the Memphis community and the good officers that I believe are in that community who had no part in this,” Patten wrote. “This country cannot take seeing another grown man, and in this case an African American man, cry for mama as his life is brutally being taken by those who took an oath to serve and protect.”

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Patten posted his reaction at about 10 p.m. Friday. Patten is in Glynco, Georgia, at a Department of Homeland Security Leadership Academy and because of that training, did not see the video when it was first released.

“There are good officers out there who have a duty to act when someone’s life is in danger and this includes when the perpetrator is one of their own. Law enforcement officers, we have to stand up and police our own. Law enforcement executives have to rid their respective agencies and law enforcement period of these bad apples if we have any hope of having trusted relationships with the communities we serve,” the sheriff said.

He said he commends the leadership on all levels in Memphis for taking swift action and being transparent with the world in the investigation into Nichols’ death.

“We need more of that in order to heal the pain of communities ripped apart by disgusting acts like this. We are better than this and it is past time for us to show it while holding those accountable who don’t.”