Mobilization for Justice mourns the senseless loss of Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man murdered by five Memphis Police Department officers earlier this month. We send our sincerest condolences to Nichols’ family, friends, and community.
The images released are harrowing, agonizing, and defy humanity with 23 minutes passing by before Nichols received medical attention. This type of violence is continually manifested by the actions of police forces across the nation. Police officers are trained to escalate encounters with civilians and use unnecessarily violent tactics. The fatal choice officers made during Nichols’ traffic stop wasn’t an aberration. Rather, it was a horrific yet realistic outcome of the violent training and culture permeating police departments in every community in the country. The deaths of so many innocent Black victims do not lie.
The five officers were terminated and charged with second-degree murder and kidnapping. The special unit they were a part of was permanently deactivated. In acting swiftly to this crime, the Memphis Police Department created a “blueprint” for other police departments, prosecutors, and political leaders.
We cannot and must not tolerate this status quo. We must not sit silently by while police officers brutalize Americans going about their daily lives. We will continue to call for systemic change needed to dismantle the culture of violence, abuse, and negligence that continues to permeate law enforcement. We will continue to condemn a system that sees all people as targets deserving of violence, but particularly those who are Black or otherwise marginalized. We will continue to call for police officers to be held accountable for their actions in a consistent, timely fashion. We call on elected officials to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
Nichols’ life matters. He should still be here, enjoying time with his family and friends. We will not stop fighting until justice is served and until state-sanctioned violence ends.