State of Emergency declared ahead of anticipated release of Tyre Nichols video
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Gov. Brian Kemp has declared a state of emergency due to recent protests in the Atlanta area and possible reaction to the release of the Tyre Nichols video.
The executive order gives the governor the power to activate 1,000 National Guard units “in response” to the recent protests. The units will have “the same powers of arrest and apprehension as do law enforcement officers.”
A source said, “the executive order is purely precautionary based on possible unrest following the release of the videos from Memphis. There are no immediate intentions to deploy the Guard.”
Protests erupted after Manuel Teran was killed in a shootout with police near the future site of the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center. Six people were arrested on Jan. 21 after the protests and 18 have been charged with domestic terrorism.
A special prosecutor will be assigned to the case after DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston recused her office.
The state of emergency will last until Feb. 9.
The Atlanta Police Department has issued the following statement:
“We are closely monitoring the events in Memphis and are prepared to support peaceful protests in our city. We understand and share in the outrage surrounding the death of Tyre Nichols. Police officers are expected to conduct themselves in a compassionate, competent, and constitutional manner and these officers failed Tyre, their communities and their profession. We ask that demonstrations be safe and peaceful.”
The Georgia State Patrol issued the following statement:
“We are working closely with the Atlanta Police Department and our other law enforcement partners in the Atlanta metro. We are monitoring the situation and reviewing all possible intelligence and will act appropriately.”
The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office released a statement Friday afternoon:
The more we learn about the death Tyre Nichols the more it becomes clear that the officers’ actions were inexcusable and represent an appalling display of excessive use of force. When the video is released, it will be incredibly difficult to watch. The unjustified actions taken by those officers are absolutely inconsistent with any law enforcement training or procedures.
Cases like this must not only be condemned by the community but also by law enforcement leadership. Those who are sworn to protect and serve should be held to the highest standard. Law enforcement is a noble profession but when even a small percentage of officers fail to uphold their oath it fractures public trust. We are much better and much safer when law enforcement and the community that we serve work together.
There are absolutely no excuses to be made for the horrific actions that will be seen on the video. The five officers involved should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, but this case should not serve as an indictment against the men and women who serve honorably every day.
Our heartfelt prayers are with Tyre’s family, Chief Cerelyn “C.J.” Davis and the entire Memphis Police Department. We thank his mother for joining all law enforcement as well call for peace once the video is released. As the Sheriff of Fulton County, I can assure residents that our goal is always to protect and serve with proficient training, professionalism integrity, compassion and honor.
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