WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Jamaal Bowman, Ed.D (NY-16) issued the following statement following the release of the Memphis Police releasing the body cam footage of Tyre Nichols being beaten by five police officers.
“Sending my deepest condolences to the family of Tyre Nichols,” said Congressman Jamaal Bowman Ed.D (NY-16).” Tyre Nichols should be alive today. He should be spending time with his son and his family. He should be talking, laughing and smiling with his friends. He should be enjoying his passion for photography. Instead, he was brutally murdered by five Memphis police officers. Tyre wasn’t a threat. He was not breaking the law. He was attacked and beaten to death with multiple kicks, punches, and nightstick blows to his head. He tried to run for his life. He tried to run home to his mother. He called out for his mother in the same way that George Floyd did before he was killed.”
“America’s DNA is sickened with the disease of police brutality, mass incarceration, and the dehumanization of Black bodies. We call on President Biden and every elected official in this country to pass legislation and take executive action as necessary to protect Black bodies and keep all Americans safe; especially the most vulnerable. The disease of police brutality is systemic. And it has happened in every corner of the country throughout American history. From the slave patrols of the 1700’s to 2023, Black dehumanization and murder at the hands of the state continues to be fueled by the disturbing legacy of institutional and systemic injustice. It’s taxpayer money that funds police departments and it’s that same taxpayer money that’s used to defend officers who break the law and pay settlements when lawsuits arise. It is on all of us to demand radical change.”
“The usual impunity hurts the most. Most officers who break the law aren’t fired, charged or convicted. The swiftness with which the officers were fired and charged, and the release of the video should serve as a blueprint for every police department going forward. I also must acknowledge and thank the activists and organizers who continue to fight for accountability — and humanity.”
“Police killed more than 1000 people in 2022, making it the deadliest year on record since we started tracking police killings.
We need federal, state and local legislation that holds law enforcement accountable and takes a public health approach to public safety. Federal legislation, like the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act and the People’s Justice Guarantee can serve as models for the nation to follow. These policies, along with the Truth and Racial Healing Act can help us begin the process of curing America of its anti-Black racism that is so intricately and intentionally woven into the fabric of every American system and institution. If we don’t, there will be more senseless killings of Black people by both police and vigilantes. It was vigilantes who killed Emmitt Till, Trayvon Martin, and Ahmed Aubery. The KKK were also vigilantes created to terrorize and kill Black people.”
“We call on President Biden, Congress, and elected leaders all over the country to lead for Black lives and lead for Black humanity.”