‘We are not them’ — Rexburg Police Chief denounces beating of Tyre Nichols

The Rexburg Police Department headquarters. Photo credit: Chester Chan

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Rexburg Chief of Police Joshua Rhodes expressed agreement with a statement from the Idaho Chiefs of Police Association regarding the death of Tyre Nichols, allegedly caused by five police officers in Memphis, Tennessee.

Five Memphis police officers were charged with second-degree murder in the death of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols, who was beaten after being pulled over by the officers in a traffic stop.

The Idaho Chiefs of Police Association released a statement that decried the incident as “appalling” and “disheartening.”

“We are not them and they do not represent the professionalism Idaho officers display each day,” the statement said.

Chief Rhodes shared the statement via the Rexburg Police Department Facebook page and said the department “shares the same views” as those expressed in ICPA’s statement.

“[The Rexburg Police Department] assures you that we will continue to strive to fulfill the mission of our department which is to enhance the quality of life in the City of Rexburg by working with the community through Integrity, Bravery, Dedication, Loyalty and Compassion,” Rhodes said in the post.

Video footage from the incident shows the officers, all of whom were black, struggling to restrain Nichols’, who is also black, after pulling him over in a traffic stop. Nichols was tased and punched and at one point broke free of the officers and ran. The officers pursued him and continued to attempt to restrain him, using pepper spray. After it appears officers were able to hold him, he was punched in the face at least five times and kicked in the face twice.

In addition to second-degree murder, former officers Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Desmond Mills Jr., Emmitt Martin III and Justin Smith have been charged with aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression.