LANSING, Mich., Jan. 28, 2023 — The Michigan Legislative Black Caucus has issued the following statement on the tragedy of the murder of Tyre Nichols:

“Once again, the nation is gripped with the senseless murder of an unarmed Black man at the hands of police. Once again, the Black community is left to relive and grapple with this repeated violence and brutality. This is not a new phenomenon. This is not something unique to this century or era in which we are. During the Civil Rights Era, Dr. King spoke directly against police brutality against the Black community when in 1963 he stated, ‘We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality.’ Throughout his work, Dr. King routinely emphasized and criticized the pattern of police brutality as endemic across America. It still is—today, the victims becoming eulogized as hashtags, the start of 2023 adding Tyre Nichols to the list. The Michigan Legislative Black Caucus lifts Tyre Nichols’ family up in light and love as they seek justice for his murder.

“Platitudes of ‘this is not who we are’ are hollow. It is exactly who this country is, with modern policing being firmly ensconced in the racist roots of slave patrols and the Fugitive Slave Act itself. But it does not have to be this way. It shouldn’t be this way.

“This country can remove itself from the very shackles of police brutality that it has created and enact real reforms where public safety is indeed safe, where accountability for the unconscionable is swift and permanent, where families and entire communities are not routinely traumatized by those who have sworn to serve and protect, and where we are all served and protected. We are called on—mandated—to address and correct the systems that perpetuate harm against individuals and communities. We must do it now and the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus is committed to working with our community partners to reach for and achieve the meaningful changes that our community demands and deserves.”