On January 7, 2023, Tyre Nichols was savagely beaten to death by five Memphis City police officers. Police approached Nichols’ vehicle with guns raised and aggressively pulled him out of the car. While repeatedly stating his innocence, police pepper-sprayed him and pinned him to the ground. After getting free and running away, police caught Tyre and severely beat him. Although additional officers arrived at the scene, Tyre did not receive medical attention for several minutes. He was taken to a hospital in critical condition where he later passed away.
Court and police documents reveal how officers lied repeatedly and omitted details about the violence. All six officers have been terminated from the force and face either state or federal criminal charges that will result in decades behind bars.
Tyre Nichols did not deserve the brutal treatment he endured. The incident occurred blocks from Tyre’s mother's home and body-cam footage shows him crying out for his mother. No man, woman, or child should ever be subjected to police brutality and police violence.
The current policing system endures because firing corrupt and abusive cops does not address the systemic root issues of policing in America. Systematic reform requires us to restructure the current system and implement better practices for community safety and police accountability.
The People’s Response Act is federal legislation, introduced by Representative Cori Bush, that emphasizes an inclusive, holistic, and health-centered approach to public safety. It adopts a new approach to public safety that will save lives, and build systems of care that are rooted in improving the well-being of all communities. This approach must be equitable, health-centered, and preventative to stop violence and harm before it occurs while ensuring that every community has what it needs to flourish.
The People’s Response Act provides the resources and assistance to scale up these efforts and truly transform public safety in the United States. It would reframe how we think about and respond to crises in this country with an approach that meets the demands and needs of our communities at this moment.
MomsRising is mobilizing to reimagine public safety and our overreliance on policing. We are collecting stories to share with elected and community leaders to address police violence. If you and or your loved ones have been impacted by police violence, click this LINK to share your story. Together we are powerful!