FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Local organizations are reacting to videos showing the violent arrest of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols, a Memphis man who died three days after he was beaten by police in a traffic stop on Jan. 7.

The Northwest Arkansas branch of the NAACP’s president Dr. Coby Davis issued a statement on the bodycam footage of Tyre Nichols.

“The lack of humanity is disgusting,” Davis said. “It was difficult to watch and we mourn with the family of Tyre Nichols. It is disturbing that we continue to see the lives of Black Americans disregarded and cut short. But more importantly, we hope as America experiences this, everyone, and especially lawmakers and law enforcers, admit there is a problem and begin taking immediate actions to ensure ALL Americans can be safe from vicious brutality.”

Fayetteville Chief of Police Mike Reynolds also released a statement on the video.

“On behalf of the men and women of the Fayetteville Police Department, we would like to extend our prayers, sympathy, and condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Tyre Nichols and the entire community of Memphis, TN as they, and our nation, mourn this tragic and senseless death.

“The videos that have been released of Mr. Nichols’ beating are extremely disturbing and painful. Police officers should treat all citizens with dignity and respect, and we should be held to the highest standards of conduct. The former Memphis police officers who are responsible for the death of Mr. Nichols have betrayed their oath of office and brought shame to the law enforcement profession. We are disgusted and disappointed that police officers would so callously treat another human in this way.

“What happened in Memphis is not a representation of the Fayetteville Police Department; it is not reflective of my officers’ professionalism and integrity. We remain committed to treating everyone with dignity and respect while providing a safe place to live, work and play for our community.

“The Fayetteville Police Department is blessed to have the support of our community, and we work every day to continue building trust, transparency, partnerships and community engagement our residents expect and deserve,” Reynolds said.

Washington County Sheriff Jay Cantrell issued the following statement.

“Myself, along with the men and women of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, mourn the loss of Tyre Nichols and grieve with his family.

“We are angry that these 5 former Memphis police officers betrayed the public’s trust and tarnished the badge and reputation of every law enforcement officer in this country.

“Tyre’s senseless death at the hands of individuals who have taken an oath to uphold the law and protect others is completely devastating and makes us sick to our stomach.

“We will pray for God’s comfort for Tyre’s family and we will pray that justice is served quickly and surely,” Cantrell said.

The Northwest Arkansas Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Council released a statement on Jan. 30 reacting to Nichols’ death.

“It is with great sorrow that we, the Northwest Arkansas Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Council,
mourn the death of Tyre Nichols. We are outraged and heartbroken at this senseless act of violence that took the life of yet another African American man and father. We stand in solidarity with Tyre’s family, friends, and the greater community as they seek justice and healing from this tragic loss. No life should be taken in such a violent and heartbreaking
way. In his 1963 ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, Dr. King articulated that ‘We can never be
satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality.’

“As we reflect on this loss, we are reminded of the harsh reality of racial injustice that
continues to plague our nation. We must take this tragedy as an opportunity to reflect on
the legacy of Dr. King, who was also killed in Memphis, TN, more than 50 years ago. We
must recognize that the systemic racism and oppression that he dedicated his life to
dismantling is still prevalent in 2023. We must acknowledge and confront the systemic
barriers that continue to divide us and work to create a society in which all people have
an opportunity to thrive.

“At this moment, we call on all people of conscience to join us in speaking out against
violence and injustice and to take action to create a more just and equitable world. We
must come together in solidarity to ensure that Tyre Nichols’ life was not taken in vain
and that his death serves as a catalyst for change. As we remember him, we rededicate
ourselves to the work of social justice and police reform in our community, as this
egregious act is a cry for change. May his memory be a blessing, and may his death
inspire us all to work together to create a world in which all people are valued and
treated with dignity and respect,” the organization said.