Jacksonville Sheriff calls Memphis video reprehensible, calls citizens review board ‘non-starter’

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters addressed the video released on Friday of Memphis police officers beating Tyre Nichols. Waters says the officers involved abandoned their fundamental oaths to protect and serve.

Speaking live during Jacksonville’s Morning News on Monday, Waters rejected calls for a citizens review board, saying there are multiple layers of outside agency investigation currently in place.

LISTEN: Sheriff T.K. Waters on Jacksonville’s Morning News

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Sheriff T.K. Waters released a statement Saturday night on the death of Tyre Nichols.

The statement from Sheriff T.K. Waters:

“Like so many Americans, I am shocked and horrified by the images and reports regarding the actions that led to the tragic death of Tyre Nichols in Memphis. I have spent over half my life in law enforcement, and the actions of those officers are reprehensible and inexcusable. There is no policy in the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office or any law enforcement agency in this country that permits such brutality. Law enforcement officers are, first and foremost, public servants. Through their actions, those officers have abandoned their fundamental oaths to serve and protect.”

“I stand with our community in condemning this behavior. Those officers’ actions do not reflect the culture of law enforcement in our agency or in this country. We are a society of laws, and no one is above the law.”

“I along with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office send my deepest condolences to the family members and loved ones of Tyree Nichols. They will remain in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”

This statement follows released videos showing the deadly police beating of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols, who died on Jan. 10, three days after he was stopped by police a short distance from his home in Memphis.

On the topic of a citizen review board:

Sheriff Waters spoke to our news partners at WOKV Monday morning.

“When it comes to a civilian review board or anything of that nature, no the door is not open for that,” Waters said. “What my door is open for is discussions with community leaders about concerns when things happen. My number is available and my office is open. These things have to be investigated factually, not emotionally.”

This comes as on Sunday, the Jacksonville Community Action Committee gathered in Downtown Jacksonville to demand change to local policing, following the release of video footage in the Tyre Nichols case.

The committee talked about a 2024 ballot initiative for a citizen review board, which would oversee JSO use of force cases.

“We’re trying to get a public safety oversight committee,” said Christina Kittle with JCAC. “We’re calling it a PSOC. Every other major metro in the state of Florida has a civilian review of some sort. Jacksonville, we don’t have anything”

When Waters was asked by WOKV if he would re-consider a citizens’ review board:

“That is a non-starter,” Waters said. “I think those are really, really emotionally driven and I think they have to be factually driven.”


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