Statement on the Killing of Tyre Nichols

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated condemns the killing of Tyre Nichols.

Like other citizens, Black Americans pay taxes to local and state governments, expecting that the law enforcement agencies they fund will offer protection to their communities. Instead, far too often, Black bodies are abused, and Black lives are ended by police officers who misuse their authority.

Delta Sigma Theta first adopted a resolution decrying the scourge of police misconduct 33 years ago. Since then, we have repeatedly called upon policymakers to take meaningful action to boost accountability and transparency in law enforcement.

Yet again, we are horrified to witness the sickening brutalization of an unarmed Black man by police. The fact that the officers who viciously attacked Tyre Nichols are also Black is unimportant. The story is the same. The outcome is the same. Another dying Black son is crying out for his mother and another Black life ended by the very people who are paid to protect it.

Delta Sigma Theta restates its support for common sense measures to address police brutality, including:

  • State laws that require that determinations of abuse or inappropriate action by police officers will follow in their employment records.
  • The establishment of Offices of Independent Monitors in jurisdictions where one does not exist.
  • Legislation to study, collect data and prevent racial profiling on the state and federal levels in the United States and as legally permissible in countries where chapters are located around the world.

Our hearts break for Tyre Nichols and his loved ones; however, now is not a time for sadness alone. We are encouraged by the swift action of the Memphis Police Chief and District Attorney and look to other cities to respond in kind to such horrific incidents. As an organization that has social action as a core value, we call upon our members and chapters to work with local and state elected officials, police, and other relevant entities to challenge the toxic police culture that animated the attack on Tyre Nichols.