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Statement on the Murder of Tyre Nichols

Once again our country is confronted with the brutal, deadly reality of the effects of structural racism on Black Americans, and once again a man has been murdered by police officers during a traffic stop.

Horrific video footage shows that five officers were involved in the three-minute long beating of Tyre Nichols, a beating so severe that it resulted in his death.

Some may wonder how racism can be at the root of this violence since it involved Black officers in the majority Black Memphis police department. That is the insidious nature of structural racism in our police departments – practices and cultural assumptions that dehumanize Black people and make any encounter with police a source of fear.

The officers involved should be held accountable for their crime – there is no excuse. But we can’t stop there. We call on working people to help bring an end to this trauma by joining together to insist that police departments in our communities engage in education and training programs to change the culture of policing from one that demands obedience to one that earns respect.


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