“‘In my 36 years [on the job], I would have to say I don’t think I’ve ever been more horrified and disgusted, sad, but just… to some degree confused.’”
That’s Memphis police chief Cerelyn Davis, speaking to ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Friday. Davis was explaining her response to seeing the body-cam video footage of the Jan. 7 arrest of Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man who was stopped by police for reckless driving.
The arrest became confrontational, leading to Nichols being hospitalized that night. Nichols died three days later as a result of injuries sustained in the encounter with police. The five officers involved, all of whom are Black, have since been fired and have now been charged with second-degree murder.
The video footage of the arrest is expected to be released to the public on Friday evening.
Davis told “Good Morning America” that her officers’ “level of aggression” is what particularly confused her. She added, “It’s still very unclear, you know, as to the real reason for the (traffic) stop in the first place.”
As to what prompted the aggression, Davis said, “I believe there was a sense of group think in the mentality… It’s just very unfortunate that nobody stepped forward to say, ‘Enough.’”
Davis also told CNN’s Don Lemon that she was “outraged” when she first saw the footage showing her officers’ actions that night.
“It was incomprehensible to me. It was unconscionable,” she said. “I don’t think I’ve witnessed anything of that nature in my entire career.”