We are heartbroken and overwhelmed by the tragic and wholly unnecessary beating and death of Tyre Nichols.
Tyre Nichols was a young, healthy Black man. He was a father to his four-year-old son and a great friend to many. Tyre worked alongside his stepfather at FedEx and during his downtime, enjoyed skateboarding and photography. Tyre’s life was special, layered, and cut short by senseless police brutality. A pattern that keeps repeating in the streets of America.
For far too long, the Black community has been subjected to police brutality and racial profiling at an alarming and disproportionate rate. This has led to an increase in the number of deaths caused by law enforcement officers, the very people who pledged to protect us. We have not come far enough since the beating of Rodney King, the death of Breonna Taylor, or George Floyd’s killing. The system is broken, and we must collectively fight for humanitarian reform. We must act now before another life is taken away.
When we talk about police brutality, it’s important to remember that this isn’t just a problem for Black people. It’s a problem for everyone who cares about justice and human rights.
We all need to work together to callout and eliminate anti-Blackness in all aspects of law enforcement so that the system no longer devalues and criminalizes Black people, and instead protects and serves Black communities.
At the Alliance, we are committed to addressing systemic oppression in order to ensure rights and life for Black people. We call on law enforcement, legislators, and policymakers to come together urgently to enact reforms that will preclude such tragedies from occurring in the future.
We will not stop standing up and speaking up for economic and social justice for Black people and Black communities.
Martin Luther King, Jr. stated “Law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and when they fail in this purpose, they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress.”
We will not stop fighting.
Lenwood V. Long, Sr.