Madison mayor: Tyre Nichols’ death breaks public trust in justice
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – Saying the family of the man whose death has led to murder charges against five former Memphis police officers deserves justice, Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway urged peaceful protests. In a statement released a couple hours before the anticipated release of video of what happened between Tyre Nichols and the officers, the Madison mayor called it a way to grieve and a way to foster justice and change.
“Public trust is the cornerstone of public safety and justice. Once again, that trust has been broken,” Rhodes-Conway said, adding that Nichols’ death demonstrates that every police department across the country needs to do more to guarantee everyone in treated equally under the law. She described it as especially true for Black or Brown individuals which the mayor points out are more likely to be involved in a deadly encounter with law enforcement.
Rhodes-Conway did compliment Madison Police Chief Shone Barnes’ commitment to 21st Century Policing, which the chief also referenced that effort in a statement on Nichols’ death earlier in the day. She said those commitments to specialized training, accountability, and oversight down to the hiring and police academy levels will help the city earn the trust that she said was again shattered by what happened in Memphis and ensure trust in Madison’s police officers.
“Today we mourn and every day we work to do better,” she concluded.
With the video about to be released being described as “horrific” by Nichols mother and already causing many police departments to gird themselves for possible protests in response to what is released Friday afternoon, Rhodes-Conway included in her statement community resources for people who find the scenes difficult to watch:
- United Way - 211 phone line
- Mt Zion Baptist Church – Drop-in-clinics Anesis-Mt Zion mental health partnership
- Briarpatch Youth Services – Parent support program
- UW-Madison – University Health Services mental health unit
- Madison Metropolitan School District – Mental health resource webpage
- Employee Assistance Programs – Ask your employer about EAP services
- County Behavioral Health Resource Center – Connect to mental health providers
- National Crisis Hotline – Dial 988 to connect to this national service
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