January 27, 2023
WASHINGTON — Representatives Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Chair of the CPC Policing, Constitution, and Equality Task Force, issued the following statement in response to the body camera footage from Memphis Police in the killing of Tyre Nichols:
“Like so many across the country, we are horrified and appalled by the actions seen in the video of the murder of Tyre Nichols. The utter lack of humanity on display in the video defies even the worst expectations.
“As mothers, seeing Tyre call out for his mother is deeply painful. As human beings, this vicious murder leaves us shaken to the core. We are outraged at the ongoing violence, injustice, and brutality that Black people face every day in our country.
“People are rightfully furious by what we’ve seen. That anger is justified, and must be directed toward demanding accountability and reform of law enforcement and the criminal legal system, including an end to the police culture of use of force. Just as we have had a national conversation about safety during mental health calls, we must also address safety during traffic stops. Preserving public safety means ending qualified immunity, reducing unnecessary contact between police and communities, and fundamentally reimagining public safety in our country. We must end the filibuster, pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act and the Mental Health Justice Act, and put a stop to this devastation.
“We mourn Tyre Nichols and extend our prayers to his loved ones. We mourn George Floyd, whose name was invoked by Keenan Anderson in a police killing earlier this month. We mourn Breonna Taylor. We mourn Eric Garner. We mourn Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, and every single innocent Black life taken by police who should still be with us today.
“We must all recommit ourselves to making real, systemic, lasting change — and progressives in Congress will not back down from this fight.”