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Federal, State, and Local Law Enforcement Statement on the Death of Tyre Nichols

U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California

January 27, 2023

Federal, state, and local law enforcement partners offer their sincere condolences and support to the family of Tyre Nichols, a native of Sacramento, after his death earlier this month in Memphis, Tennessee.

Making the announcement are U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert, FBI Special Agent in Charge Sean Ragan, Sacramento County District Attorney Thien Ho, Sacramento County Sheriff Jim Cooper, and Sacramento Chief of Police Katherine Lester.

Local authorities in Tennessee announced that charges have been brought by the Shelby County District Attorney against the five former Memphis police officers. The United States Attorney for that district has also opened a federal civil rights investigationinto Mr. Nichols’ death.

Peaceful protest is a time-honored tradition in our country, and we in law enforcement strive to protect these important First Amendment rights and want people to express their right to be heard in a peaceful and nonviolent way. Federal, state, and local law enforcement will continue to work together to protect the community’s First Amendment rights.

“As part of the community, we are deeply saddened at and share the concerns about the death of Tyre Nichols,” said U.S. Attorney Talbert. “Together with our law enforcement partners, we have reached out to our community leaders to address the real and legitimate concerns about what happened to Mr. Nichols and to identify positive steps we can take going forward. Please join me in a call for unity and peace as we work together during this difficult time.”

“The FBI Sacramento Field Office offers our sincere condolences to former Sacramento resident Tyre Nichols’ family and friends. Our team has reached out to our community partners, many of whom are deeply affected by Nichols’ death,” said Special Agent in Charge Sean Ragan of the FBI Sacramento Field Office. “The FBI is deeply committed to ensuring the rights of all Americans are protected, and we continue to work with law enforcement and community partners to ensure any threat to public safety or the exercise of Constitutional rights is promptly investigated.”

“I am truly saddened and troubled by the tragic death of Tyre Nichols,” said District Attorney Thien Ho. “As a former resident of Sacramento, Mr. Nichols’ death has hit home. Understandably, there is deep pain and anger within our community. We have learned that violence and destruction only harms and divides us. With charges filed in the death of Mr. Nichols, I ask that our community respect the Shelby County criminal justice process. Be assured, I am working together with all of our diverse communities to ensure our local justice system seeks the truth and renders justice for everyone, because justice and public safety are a matter of fairness and equality.”

Sheriff Jim Cooper said, “As we await further updates from Tennessee, we ask everyone that chooses to exercise their lawful right to protest, to express their feelings peacefully. We will work together with our Law Enforcement partners to protect everyone’s First Amendment rights, while keeping the peace and protecting our community.”

Sacramento Police Chief Katherine Lester said, “I share the same coerns as those echoed throughout our nation and our law enforcement community. The right to protest peacefully is sacred and will be protected. I know we can have tough conversations while finding a path forward together.”


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