‘WE ARE READY TO PROTECT MEMPHIS!’ City Braces for Potential Violence

by | Jan 23, 2023 | Local News, Memphis, news | 0 comments

Share This Article

The public awaits the release of the body cam footage from the five Memphis police officers that were fired after Tyre Nichols died during a traffic stop. Meanwhile, many residents are bracing for what could be a violent week on the streets.

Memphis City Councilman Frank Colvett joined Wake Up Memphis with Ben Deeter to talk about the latest developments of the Tyre Nichols case and how city leaders are preparing for the release of the footage.

“As horrific and disgusting as I am told that that video is,” Colvett said, “I want everybody to know that I don’t care what kind of shirt you wear, whether it’s a button down or a uniform, doesn’t matter. Nobody’s above the law.”

CLICK HERE to download the FREE KWAM NewsTalk Memphis App!

BEN DEETER: [00:00:00] Now, as the public braces for the release of body cam footage showing the confrontation that may have led to Tyre Nichols death. We’re all watching it in real time and there could be some answers today. Want to go to our phone lines this morning. Talk to Memphis City Councilman Franco Corvette. Good morning, Mr. Calvert. How are you? [00:00:18][18.7]

FRANK COLVETT: [00:00:20] Always good to talk to you, my friend. [00:00:21][1.1]

DEETER: [00:00:22] As as to you. So we’re waiting for the release of this body cam footage. As I understand it goes to the family. Do I have my timeline correct? [00:00:31][9.7]

COLVETT: [00:00:33] That is correct. And what we’re getting ready for is when the FBI and everyone wraps up their at least initial phases of the investigation, then we think the video is going to be released to the public. But, you know, we’ve got a couple of steps in there that we’ve got to get all the appropriate investigation pieces completed. We assume that will be this week and then we will then I’m sure the police, DA’s will release it. [00:01:02][28.6]

DEETER: [00:01:03] Okay. So family to maybe get it today and then for the public. Well, we’ll all wait for that. You’ve called for transparency, saying, quote No one is above the law. Do you think we’ve got that transparency, Frank? [00:01:15][12.4]

COLVETT: [00:01:17] Well, I haven’t called for it and have demanded it. I’ve screened for it and you’ve joined me on that. Yes. So far, I mean, I’ve been very pleased that all the different groups have kept us well up to speed on, you know, this is what we’re doing, this is why we’re doing what we’re doing, and we’ll release when the investigations are complete. But we’re not going to be completely transparent until that video goes public. Bottom line, you know, expect that to be this week. If not, there better be an incredibly good reason. But so far, okay. But I think that we will achieve complete transparency when that video which hits the public. [00:02:05][48.8]

DEETER: [00:02:07] Protests have been breaking out around the city. We saw some last week for the most part, really all of them, they’ve been pretty peaceful. There are sources telling us that law enforcement on the local and state level will be prepared to handle what could be more protests with the release of this footage. Can you confirm, are you hearing rumblings about this? [00:02:30][23.1]

COLVETT: [00:02:32] Definitely. We, as your government and law enforcement are ready to protect Memphians and property at the drop of a hat. We always are ready for these things, especially in situations like this, where we know that there is a very good chance that non-Memphians, folks are going to come in from outside to try to stir up trouble. We are prepared for any and all eventualities and ready to handle it, respond appropriately, to keep everyone safe and keep property safe. But one thing I would and I would strongly recommend to our listeners, look, I get it’s kind of like a traffic accident. You slow down. You want to take a look at it. If you see folks gathering and potentially protesting, please keep moving. You know, it’s the ten people that are protesting causing a problem and the 90 people that are just kind of gawking that all of a sudden becomes a major, major flash problem. So one thing I would say is, is that, yes, we’re ready for it. Second thing I would share is, is that, you know, look, if something does go down, just everybody stay home. What’s it all just let the police, first responders handle it. Let these folks that are coming in from out of town knuckleheads, let them just say scream their stuff and get out of here. [00:03:48][75.6]

DEETER: [00:03:48] Now, you’re seeing that in Atlanta right now. These people out of town coming in and just burning that city to the ground. I mean, or hopefully not going to see an Atlanta 2.0 here. Now, you talked about this a little bit, but I wanted to say, when this is released to the public, the body cam footage, and you’ve said it could be pretty bad from different things and we’ve heard the same thing. That footage doesn’t look great for those officers. Of course, the latest is that those five Memphis police officers have been fired from the department. What do you want people to remember when they see this body cam footage? [00:04:24][35.5]

COLVETT: [00:04:26] As horrific and disgusting as I am told that that video is, I want everybody to know that I don’t care what kind of shirt you wear, whether it’s a button down or a uniform doesn’t matter. Nobody’s above the law. And whether it’s a police officer or anyone committing these heinous acts that I’m told or on that video, doesn’t matter, they’re going to jail. You break the law, you go to jail. It is that simple. Now, if our DA doesn’t want to prosecute that, that’s his business. We’ll deal with that when we get there. But I think in this case, I think we’re all horrified. I think we’re all kind of prepared to be horrified. We’re going to get through this. And I think last but not least, it’s that phrase. We’re going to get through this, you know, let the out-of-town knuckleheads come in and scream all their protest and spew their venom. We’re going to have our first responders ready to go. We’re going to keep everyone safe. We’re all going to get through this together. I like to think that, you know, 99.9% of Memphians, you know, look, we just want to do our job and go home and be safe in our homes. Okay. We’re going to make sure that that happens and we’re going to make sure that anyone who breaks the law goes and stays in jail. [00:05:49][83.0]

DEETER: [00:05:51] We’ve seen race agitators in this city and people for our people now already calling for defunding the police, especially in the light of this investigation into these five officers. I want to get your reaction to what Michael Williams, he’s the former president of the Memphis Police Association, said about this story and that it doesn’t reflect on all of the cops here in the city. Take a listen. And cut five or six. [00:06:15][24.7]

MICHAEL WILLIAMS: [00:06:16] And I’ve always said that things need to be thoroughly investigated and the chips fall where they may. But I also want to say that whatever the outcome of this situation, that is not a depiction of 99.9% of the police officers here in the city of Memphis. And I don’t want people to get get it lost if this is a situation and I always say deal with situations as they occur. [00:06:44][28.0]

DEETER: [00:06:45] So he goes on to say that this doesn’t reflect the department, but that’s not everything we’re hearing from both sides of this. Councilman, you have if you decide to run for mayor and you haven’t made that decision yet, another suspect or prospective excuse me, Memphis mayoral candidate is Michelle McKissack. You would be going up against her if she decides to throw her hat in the ring. She says we cannot talk about crime, making our communities less safe. Without acknowledging what role police brutality plays in the city of Memphis. [00:07:15][29.3]

COLVETT: [00:07:17] Well, I would simply point out to her that 1900 police officers showed up to work today, and this didn’t happen. 1900 officers showed up yesterday and the day before and the day before and the day before that. You know, I get that defund the police. I get that That’s a wonderful public slogan. And that that, you know, she’s going to say that because that’s probably she thinks that’s going to get her vote, you know. Bottom line remains the bottom line when her home is getting broken into, she’s not going to call her friends, she’s not going to call her neighbor. She’s going to call the police. And I’ll even bet you so much that she’s not going to care where that police officer lives when she needs a police officer to protect her home, herself and her property. She’s not going to go to anywhere except the Memphis Police Department. And you know, what she’s trying to do is just gather votes and scream the current public mantra and all that. But everybody understands that the thin blue line is all that protects us from anarchy. And if we choose to run for mayor, understand, crime and police will be the main topic, I will make it such. Memphis voters will understand that if they choose someone who shows that they are going to defund the police, that they are saying that let’s let Memphis burn. Because as for me, I’m not going to let that happen. We’re going to give our first responders everything they need to keep law and order. And, as I’m fond of saying and as I’ve said a thousand times, I don’t care what shirt you wear, if you break the law, you go to jail. But let’s be very, very clear. I’m not going to surf for votes. Would defund the police or fund the police, or anything like that. I am a strong supporter of our public service. I am a strong supporter of our public safety. That will not end and I will not react well to those who just want to spew the current mantra to say, know, go fishing for a vote. God help us if folks like that are elected. [00:09:28][130.5]

DEETER: [00:09:29] Oh, well, said Memphis City Councilman Frank Colvett on the latest. When we’re tracking and following the investigation into the death of Tyre Nichols, appreciate you stopping by. Stop by any time, Councilman. [00:09:41][12.1]

COLVETT: [00:09:41] Alright Ben, you have a great day. [00:09:41][0.0]

Share This Article