We at the Othering & Belonging Institute are anguished by the murder of Tyre Nichols by five police officers in Memphis. We condemn in the strongest terms the inhumane actions of those five officers.
Tyre was a worker, a skateboarder, and an artist who captured beautiful photographs and shared them with the world on his website.
Most importantly, he was a father to his four-year-old son who he loved very much, and the youngest child to his beloved mother, who was preparing one of his favorite meals for him at the same moment he was being brutally beaten by those officers.
The move to fire and arrest the five officers who killed Tyre, and to charge them with second-degree murder, is of course necessary and important for accountability.
But as we've noted many times before in the aftermath of police and vigilante killings, the problem is not confined to a few bad apples. The problem is in the soil. It is far deeper, more complex, and goes beyond the realm of policing itself.
Earlier this month we also mourned the deaths of Manuel Terán, who was killed by police gunfire in Atlanta, and Keenan Anderson, who police tased to death in Los Angeles.
We offer our condolences to the families of these youths and others who have so unjustly been killed in these needlessly violent confrontations with police.
We all wish that in the era of George Floyd we would not have to witness these horrific scenes still playing out over and over again in different cities around the country.
Many of us had felt that the country had experienced a racial reckoning in the movement that erupted over the summer of 2020. We were encouraged by some signs that suggested we were moving together down a path to correct the injustices of the past, which resulted in the inequality and instability of the present.
But our systems and cultures do not change overnight.
This does not mean that we give up. On the contrary. We have to fight harder for justice, accountability, and change.
We've published many resources over the last few years on the problem of police violence and what can be done to address it. They include this repository containing many proposed remedies to police violence.
We hope you'll join us in working towards these necessary changes.