Black-led Groups Across the Country Demand Radical Policy Change: “Tyre Nichols Deserved Better.”

by Community Change | January 27, 2023 5:55 pm

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JANUARY 27, 2023
Contact: Domenica Ghanem, [email protected]

Black-led Groups Across the Country Demand Radical Policy Change: “Tyre Nichols Deserved Better.”

Tyre Nichols was pulled over for a traffic stop on January 7th, and died three days later from injuries inflicted by police. Five fired Memphis police officers have been charged with his murder. Tonight, police body cam footage, which has been described as especially violent by Nichols’ family and Memphis officials, will be released. Below is the response from members of Community Change’s Black Freedom Collective.

Seft Hunter, Director of Black Led Organizing & Power Building at Community Change, said: 

“The world is bracing for what they’re about to see happened to Tyre Nichols during a routine police stop. Once again, the culture of violence in the United States system of policing that has taken too many Black lives will be on full display. While there are many unknowns surrounding the events of that night, one thing we know for certain is Tyre Nichols should be alive today.

Those who’ve seen the footage are comparing it to the beating of Rodney King by the LAPD in 1991. It’s been nearly 32 years since that incident where the world witnessed what Black men and women often face when encountered by police in this country. And yet, there are still no policies passed to stop this violence and bring the radical change we need to our system of policing. Our hearts are with Tyre’s family and his loved ones. We’re standing with the Black community who, once again, is forced to live through the trauma of watching another life lost to this failed system and protest for their basic human rights.”

Ray Greene, Executive Director, Freedom BLOC in Ohio said:

“It is deja vu all over again. The thing that connects Ohio to Tennessee should not be police brutality and senseless killings of our young Black men. But tonight we are standing in solidarity across the nation to say that no one should have to fear dying during a police stop. We can prioritize public safety by investing more in impoverished Black communities and divesting from practices like over-policing that have failed to make anyone safer.”

Dawn Blagrove, Executive Director and Attorney, Emancipate NC in North Carolina said:

“Tyre Nichols is dead because systemic and institutional racism does not allow for Black people to be treated as human.’s Darryl Tyree Williams, who died at the hands of police in North Carolina just last week, is dead because systemic and institutional racism does not allow for Black people to be treated as human.  It’s exhausting to have to continue to speak that truth into existence over and over again. Emancipate NC stands in solidarity with the people to use our resources, skills, and talents to dismantle, reimagine, and restructure systems that are historically harmful to Black people.”

Roshawn Evans, Co-founder and Organizing Director, Pure Justice, based in Houston, Texas said:

“Tyre Nichols deserved better. The only thing we can and must do now is work together for a justice system that does not target, kill, and criminalize our Black communities simply for existing. Every community group and person demonstrating solidarity in the streets tonight is here to say we have had enough of the excuses and the apologies for why this keeps happening. We demand accountability and policy change at every level of government.”

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Community Change is a national organization that works to build the power of low-income communities, especially communities of color. The Black Freedom Collective (BFC), powered by Community Change, is a growing coalition of Black-led community organizing groups from across the nation that are committed to investing in sustainable economic, social, and cultural infrastructure of Black communities.

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