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Justice for Tyre Nichols: MOBB United for Social Change mourns the life of Tyre Nichols

M.O.B.B. United for Social Change joins with the family of Tyre Nichols and the Memphis community in mourning for the tragic loss of Tyre Nichols, a father, a son, an avid skateboarder and nature lover. We ended this week with what we hope is the first step towards bringing his murderers - 5 Memphis Police Officers - to justice for their reckless and unlawful behavior. These officers have been fired from the Memphis police department and video footage of the inhumane and terroristic attack upon Tyre has been released. We hope that the images which remain of Tyre in the public mind are the kind and gentle man whose last peaceful moments on this earth were capturing images of the setting sun.

On the night of Jan. 7, as Tyre was returning home from a suburban park where he had taken photos of the sunset, he was stopped for reckless driving - which we now know the initial investigation has not been able to substantiate. As police officers approached to arrest him they brutally beat Tyre. He subsequently died of cardiac arrest and kidney failure due to the injuries he sustained. An independent autopsy confirmed that excessive bleeding caused by severe internal injuries was the cause of death. Footage released this week shows the horrifying scenes of police officers pummeling a defenseless and innocent man.

M.O.B.B. United is relieved to see the swift action of the Shelby County district attorney who immediately took steps to convene a grand jury which delivered indictments on charges of second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression against all five former officers. All former police officers - two of whom are reported to have prior charges for use of excessive force - have been released without bond, pending trial.

While M.O.B.B. United is pleased to see the swift action by the police department and the broader Tennessee community, we wonder whether the outcome would have been the same were these police officers not black. We hope that this swift action continues through this and other instances of excessive force and unlawful brutalization and killing of black men and boys. We call on the Memphis PD and the state to work on reforming the culture and practice of policing so that no more lives are lost this way.

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