“As a human being, it broke me...” Dane Co. Sheriff reacts to Tyre Nichols body cam footage
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - “Appalled,” “outraged,” “heartbroken” and “angry” are the words Dane Co. Sheriff Kalvin Barrett used to describe his initial reaction to the body cam video of Tyre Nichols being beaten by Memphis police officers.
“As a human being, it broke me. As a black man, it broke me to see that. To see that treatment and to see that negative reflection that’s been put on our profession due to those murderous acts of those five officers as well as those that were there involved that lead to the death of that young man,” he said.
Barrett said he is angry over the lack of human empathy being shown from the beginning of the incident all through the end, starting with the use of profanity — something Barrett said is never allowed or taught in his profession.
Barrett said he is looking at the incident not only from a professional side, but also from a humanity side.
“We still have to be able to serve the people and do it in a fair and impartial manner that focuses on the humanity side of it; treating people with dignity and respect is the base,” Barrett said.
Sheriff Barrett added that this incident is a constant reminder of the work that still needs to be done in law enforcement. He went on to say that everyone hired by the Dane Co. Sheriff’s Office is a leader and has the ability to do what’s right to prevent incidents like this from happening in the future.
“This is an opportunity for the Dane County Sheriff’s Office to continue our dispersed leadership philosophy that everyone is a leader,” Barrett said. “We have formal leaders and we have informal leaders. But everyone that we hire, everyone that represents our Dane County Sheriff’s Office is a leader and they have the ability to do what’s right and step in and prevent incidents like this from happening no matter what role they have in our sheriff’s office.”
Barrett added that law enforcement has to identify from the get-go when incidents like these happen if it is an isolated incident or a pattern of behavior that is indicative of our culture.
“We as leaders are put in these positions to properly speak our truth and reflect how we feel on a personal level but also on a professional level and use this as a constant reminder of the work that still needs to be done in our profession,” Barrett said.
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