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Central Marin Police
Friday January 27th, 2023 :: 09:57 p.m. PST


Central Marin Police Authority Chief Michael Norton's statement regarding the death of Tyre Nichols

I felt compelled to write this statement after just watching the recently released video footage of the death of Memphis, Tennessee resident Tyre Nichols at the hands of five Memphis police officers. I do not usually comment on other law enforcement agencies, however this death has provoked a lot of national and local interest and I feel compelled to release this statement to my communities.

First and foremost, I was disgusted and appalled by what I just viewed. I, with all of you, cannot believe what I just viewed and the complete lack of humanity that was portrayed.

There is no place in civilized society for this level of uncontrolled violence at the hands of anyone, let alone police officers who swear to protect and serve their communities. It is encouraging that the officers were swiftly terminated and charged yesterday for Mr. Nichols death. No one is above the law or the justice system and these acts certainly justify the former officers arrest and booking into jail. Some of the media is claiming this horrific act shows the need for more police training. While I do agree that more and better police training is always needed, this act really shows me the importance of proper hiring and background checks. While I do not know all of the facts or the backgrounds of the involved officers, I am not sure any level of training would have prevented the involved officers from committing the acts they did. It does appear that anyone who could commit these acts should have never been hired in the first place and been allowed to serve the Memphis community.

We at the Central Marin Police take, hiring, backgrounds, and training very seriously. I personally interview and hire each of our officers to ensure they are a good fit for our communities and most importantly possess the highest level of ethics and judgement.

We then use outside consultants to conduct very thorough backgrounds of every employee we hire. These backgrounds include in-depth reviews of their entire life, including professional psychological reports.

We are also very dedicated to all levels of training which includes verbal de-escalation, peer intervention, and use of force techniques. We always train to use the minimum use of force necessary to effect an arrest. We are also in the early stages of training and implementing ABLE (Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement) at our agency. This is ongoing training that teaches officers effective ways to step in when they witness physical or verbal misconduct and help agencies improve on their culture that supports intervention.

I ask all of our community members at this time to reflect on Tyre Nichol’s tragic death and to join me in condemning the five former Memphis Police officers for their actions. I also ask everyone to remember the forty-two dedicated and hardworking police officers of the Central Marin Police are not members of the Memphis Police Department and do not share their backgrounds and training practices. Your Central Marin Police officers work tirelessly to keep all of you and the communities safe. More importantly, they do so while respecting everyone’s rights and personal well-being.

Thank you for your time.


Michael A. Norton
Chief of Police

Central Marin Police
250 Doherty Dr
Larkspur, CA 94939

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 415-927-5150

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