Local law-enforcement leaders continue to lament the actions by five now-former Memphis police officers in a traffic stop that went wrong and led to a Black man beaten to death by them.
In Hopewell, which has seen an upturn in homicides and gun violence in recent months, the police chief decried the "inhumanity" that was shown in body-cam footage from the Jan. 7 incident. Just across the Appomattox River from Hopewell, the head of Chesterfield County's law enforcement said a police uniform is "a symbol of trust" that the Memphis officers violated when they stopped, then assaulted Tyre Nichols Jan. 7. Nichols, 29, died of his injuries three days later in a Memphis hospital.
Their comments come on the heels of Petersburg's city and police leadership iaauing their own statement Saturday condemning the incident.
More:Petersburg officials react to video showing Memphis officers beating man
In a Facebook post, Hopewell police chief A.J. Starke noted there are 800,000 police officers across the U.S. "making the ultimate sacrifice" every day.
"The actions of the [Memphis] officers responsible for the death of Tyre Nichols erode the trust and weaken relationships within our community that we work so hard at establishing and maintaining," Starke wrote. "There is no place in our profession for the inhumanity displayed in that video."
Starke vowed that his department will "continue to professionally serve and protect our community."
Starke's former boss in Chesterfield, police chief Jeffrey Katz, is president of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police. Speaking on behalf of the organization, Katz said watching the video "hurt my heart."
"Mr. Nichols deserved better," Katz said. "We must endeavor to do better and never tolerate nor defend the abuse of that power entrusted to us."
Katz added, "A police uniform is a symbol of public trust. Those who commit a crime in uniform not only violate the law, but also erode public confidence in police nationwide."
The five Memphis officers involved in the assault have been identified as Demetrius Haley, Desmond Mills Jr., Emmitt Martin III, Justin Smith and Tadarrius Bean. All five have been fired and are facing second-degree murder charges in Nichols' death.
All five officers were members of the department's Street Crimes Operation to Restore Peace in Our Neighborhoods [SCORPION]. On Saturday, Memphis Police announced the unit was being disbanded.
In the video released Friday, the five officers are shown striking Nichols in the head with their hands and feet, hitting him with a baton and using a Taser on him.
More:Tyre Nichols case reignites conversations among lawmakers on federal police legislation
Bill Atkinson (he/him/his) is an award-winning journalist who covers breaking news, government and politics. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @BAtkinson_PI.
This article originally appeared on The Progress-Index: Hopewell police chief says Memphis death 'erodes the trust' in cops