Statement from UFCW Local 1994 and FOP Lodge 35 on the death of Tyre Nichols

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For Immediate Release

January 30, 2023

Contacts: 

Gino Renne, grenne@mcgeo.org, 240-876-7701

Lee Holland, fop35mail@fop35.com,  301-948-4286 

Statement from UFCW Local 1994 and FOP Lodge 35 on the death of Tyre Nichols

The criminal actions of the Memphis police officers involved in the death of Tyre Nichols are horrifying and sickening. The actions of these officers eroded the already fragile trust between law enforcement professionals and the community. There is no place in law enforcement for men or women who would commit such a heinous act, or for those who stood by and let it happen. 

Everything people have said is wrong about policing is reflected in those few minutes of video with an obviously overpowered man on the ground calling out for his mother. The job of our law enforcement officers should be as protectors of the public, not its judge or executioner. 

As unions, our work is for our members, but we also have a commitment outside our membership, especially when it comes to safeguarding the community and their basic human rights. As such, we are steadfast and will redouble our efforts towards working together with our community leaders, our faith organizations, our civic institutions, and the public to ensure that Montgomery County’s police and sheriff’s departments adhere to the basic principles of policing – to protect and serve with the utmost compassion and caring. 

But we cannot stop at just adherence to the basic principles, we need to take a deep look at what is being expected of law enforcement in Montgomery County. This means looking inwards at our culture and promoting policy that better protects the public from such injustices. Our discussions must be focused on real issues affecting our County and must include the rank and file. 

FOP 35 and UFCW Local 1994 are extremely proud of the professionalism of our public safety members. We continue to push to maintain our strict hiring standards even as applications for new recruits is at an all-time low. 

We have always insisted that there’s no place for quotas, there’s no place for profiling, and there’s no place for being a bystander in public safety. We insist that our standards must reflect the demands of our residents and the needs of our community, and our training must always be rigorous. We must judge officers on their quality of police work, not the quantity, and we must do it now. 

FOP 35 AND UFCW Local 1994 are committed to building a future that ensures dignity, security, and justice for all. 

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UFCW Local 1994 MCGEO represents public service employees in Montgomery County, Maryland. FOP Lodge 35 represents Montgomery County’s police officers. Together they represent over 7,000 county employees.

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