CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- Law enforcement officials across the Charleston area are speaking out Friday night following the release of videos showing the violent traffic stop of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols.

The body camera footage shows the arrest of the Memphis man who died three days after he was beaten by police on Jan. 7.

Five officers from the Memphis Police Department were fired and later charged with murder.

In a statement, North Charleston Police Chief Reggie Burgess said he was “saddened and horrified” by Nichols’ death and extended heartfelt condolences to the 29-year-old’s family and friends.

He continued to say that he was “disturbed” by the officers’ actions and underscored the importance of instilling in officers “the sanctity of human life and their duty to intervene.”

Read Chief Burgess’ full statement below:

As a father, I am saddened and horrified at the death of Mr. Tyre Nichols as the result of his encounter with several officers of the Memphis Police Department (TN). I have a son close to Tyre’s age, so I can only imagine their pain. My heart goes out to his family and friends during this difficult time.

As Chief of Police and law enforcement professional, I am disturbed by the actions of those officers of the Memphis Police Department. I applaud Chief Cerelyn Davis (Memphis Police Department) and the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office for the swift termination and charging of these officers. In our profession, we must instill in our officers the sanctity of human life and their duty to intervene.

The importance of community policing cannot be stressed enough. Mutual respect must be in place to have an effective partnership with our community. Senseless deaths like that of Tyre undermine our efforts and negate the progress we have made to build a better relationship with our citizens.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Tyre Nichols, the City of Memphis and the Memphis Police Department.

Chief Reggie Burgess


In a statement, Charleston County Sheriff Kristin Graziano said the officers’ use of force was “deeply troubling, upsetting, and unprofessional” and commended authorities for their “swift investigative and legal actions.”

“We can and must work together with our community to continue to heal and have conversations that will bring us together,” Sheriff Graziano continued.

Read Sheriff Graziano’s full statement below:

“The excessive use of force and lack of intervention by these police officers are deeply troubling, upsetting and unprofessional. I commend the swift investigative and legal actions taken by authorities at the local, state and federal levels.

The death of Tyre Nichols is horrifying but does not serve as a reflection of the hundreds of thousands of men and women who uphold the norms and standards of our profession with integrity and honor each day across our nation.

We can and we must work together with our community to continue to heal and have conversations that will bring us together.”

Sheriff Kristin Graziano


Charleston Police Department Chief Luther Reynolds responded to the video prior to its release on Friday, also calling the footage “disturbing.”

Chief Reynolds further condemned the behavior of the five former officers and said their actions are not in line with the core values taught to officers who serve in his department.

“What they did was completely contradictory to anything I would ever accept,” Chief Reynolds said. “And I’ve never seen anything like that. The way it’s been described, almost like a Rodney King type of event, except maybe even worse.”