Washington, D.C. — Patrick Gaspard, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement following the release of video capturing the killing of Tyre Nichols at the hands of Memphis police officers arrested and charged with his murder:
Driving while Black is one of the most dangerous acts in America, as we all just witnessed in the searing video of the brutal slaughter of Tyre Nichols at the hands of police—who are paid by us to protect all of us.
The evidence here is startling and indisputable. These officers need to be tried, convicted, and imprisoned to satisfy justice and to send a message to police in all of our cities that this culture of violence in their ranks will no longer be sanctioned.
We mourn for this son, father, and brother. In his name, and the names of countless others who have disproportionately been stopped, searched, and assaulted by law enforcement, we must act to completely alter the approach to public safety that consists of racial profiling and the overpolicing of Black and Brown Americans for alleged minor offenses.
The soul of our nation is at stake. This horrific crime is not the result of a failure of training: It is a failure of moral imagination that allows for a uniquely American, persistent human rights crisis. Reform and legislation must follow justice for Tyre Nichols and the Memphis community.
For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Colin Seeberger at email@example.com or 202.741.6292.