The following statement is from Brianna Brown, Co-Executive Director of the Texas Organizing Project, in reaction to bodycam footage made public Friday of five Black Memphis police officers violently beating Tyre Nichols on the streets of his neighborhood, ultimately leading to his death:
“These gruesome, sinister acts captured on video and released to the public once again confirm to Black people across the country what we already know to be true: that law enforcement dehumanizes us.
“The sheer brutality inflicted on Tyre Nichols further shows how the violent legacy of white supremacy is still at the foundation of policing institutions in the United States today, no matter the race or ethnicity of officers. As report after report continues to show, Black people are still killed by police at a higher rate than other groups.
“One does not have to subject themself to watching trauma-inducing footage of Black death to fully understand the magnitude of the atrocity committed by Memphis police.
“Only yards away from the safety of his home, it was a reprehensible abuse of power of the badge that ended Tyre’s life. There is no justification whatsoever for the inhumanity unleashed on him.
“With raised fists, our hearts are with the Nichols family during this emotionally jarring time. We demand these officers be held to nothing short of full accountability for their vile actions. Eliminating police brutality is only possible through a complete, community-driven overhaul and reimagining of policing itself ― a fight TOP continues to be fully committed to.”
Synnachia McQueen, a TOP Right2Justice campaign member in Harris County, added:
“Pepper-sprayed, tased, and horrifically beaten, Tyre Nichol’s murder is indicative of a legal system that for centuries has devalued and dehumanized Black lives at each turn.
“Every person ― regardless of where they come from, what they look like, or where they live ― is deserving of having their basic rights respected and dignity upheld.
“To be clear, a beloved son and father is no longer with us because five Memphis police officers ruthlessly violated Tyre’s rights and dignity AND because their actions are rooted in the history of white supremacy in this country. The officers and the system must be held to account.”
Texas Organizing Project organizes Black and Latino communities in Dallas, Harris, Bexar, and Fort Bend counties with the goal of transforming Texas into a state where working people of color have the power and representation they deserve. For more information, visit organizetexas.org.
This statement was sent out January 28, 2023.