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Mayor Eric Adams speaks out on actions of Memphis police officers in death of Tyre Nichols

Mayor Adams says Memphis officers lacked training and supervision
Mayor Adams says Memphis officers lacked training and supervision 02:51

NEW YORK -- Mayor Eric Adams spoke out Monday on the death of Tyre Nichols. He said a few of the keys to effective policing the streets are what was lacking in Memphis -- training and supervision.

"There was a personal feeling of betrayal when I witnessed that video, but those officers lost control and they showed the level of abuse that is really a betrayal to those who wear the uniform every day," Adams said.

Adams, a former police officer, himself, was commenting on the death of Nichols and the actions of the Memphis Police Department to CNN.

READ MOREMemphis police say 6th officer relieved of duty after Tyre Nichols' death

Over the weekend, the Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis disbanded the SCORPION Anti-Crime Unit, a strike team that targeted violent offenders created in response to a rise in homicides in the city. The five former officers charged in the case belonged to that unit.

"It wasn't set up so that officers can be heavy handed," Davis said.

READ MOREWhat we know about Tyre Nichols' death and the Memphis officers charged with his murder

Adams said the officers in Memphis were untrained and unsupervised, adding in New York he did not reinstate an anti-crime unit, which he saw as an aggressive form of policing, but instead put in an anti-gun unit.

"Many people stated that we should not do it, but we were able to remove 7,000 guns off our streets. That's a 27-year high," Adams said. "What we put back in place based on hearing from the public -- officers wearing a modified uniform so they could be properly identified, proper training."

READ MORETyre Nichols killing sparks renewed calls in Congress for police reform

The Memphis police chief said the fact that the five former officers were Black takes race off the table, but Adams disagrees.

"I think race is still on the table when a culture of policing historically has treated those from different groups differently. Even when the individuals are from the same group, that culture can still exist," Adams said.

The mayor did praise the Memphis police chief, saying she responded quickly and professionally by firing the officers.

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