CINCINNATI — Hours before the release of video showing the events that led to Tyre Nichols' death, Cincinnati leaders and activists hosted a virtual meeting offering support to Nichols' family and others in Memphis.
"We're just here to support them through this horrific time, support them in their efforts for police accountability/transparency," said Iris Roley, a Cincinnati activist.
Authorities released body cam footage Friday night showing five Memphis Police Department officers brutally beating Nichols following a traffic stop on Jan. 7. He died three days later. Nichols was reportedly returning home from taking pictures at a park when he was pulled over.
The video includes extremely graphic content. Parts of the footage can be found here.
During the meeting, Cincinnati leaders discussed Nichols' death and police accountability.
Activists, lawyers, police and city leaders developed a collaborative agreement more than 20 years ago with the goal of reforming police-community relations.
"At that time we were looking at 15 unarmed Black men that had been killed at the hands of the police and we wanted to go in and fix the culture fix policy, fix structure, create the pathway of philosophy around using problem-solving,” said Roley, who was a consultant on the agreement in 2001.
Roley said while Cincinnati isn't perfect, local leaders and activists want to help those in Memphis and it's because of the agreement, that is still utilized today, Cincinnati can act as a blueprint for other cities.
Former Vice Mayor Christopher Smitherman said Cincinnati is a national leader.
"Keep doing what we're doing. I would say do not get comfortable," he said. "This is a time for us to double down on our training, for us to reach out to our allies, meaning the police department working with community allies."
He also agreed, Memphis and Nichols' family need support.
"As a father, losing a child is the toughest thing anybody can go through. Losing a child this way, in such a horrific way, is so devastating to a family," said Smitherman.
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