Opinion & Editorial

The Eugene/Springfield NAACP released the following statement after the release of the police video in Tyre Nichols’ case:

“Our organization joins in the collective mourning felt across our cities, state, and nation following the release of footage capturing Tyre Nichols’ murder. Our branch would like to center support for Tyre’s loved ones in the days immediately following the release of this traumatic abuse.

We must take time to honor and exercise humanity— to be human in our actions, thoughts, and considerations for ourselves and those most impacted by this tragedy; to embody grace and care not only for ourselves but those communities and people uniquely touched by inhumane violence. Tyre Nichols was many things: a young man with a bright future before him; a beloved community member; a father to his 4-year-old son; and himself a son to his loving family. And yet, while all these titles are accurate, at a most basic level, Tyre Nichols was, above all, a human being. We cannot lose sight of this in our response from here.

Tragedy impacts everyone who witnesses it, as most of us have this event. And while this secondhand pain and trauma might touch us each uniquely, we must never forget that even in our most profound moments of inherited sorrow, these feelings cannot equate or exceed the pain that those who directly knew and loved Tyre Nichols for his 29 years of life before January 7th, 2023, now experience. The last days of this young man’s life should not define his legacy, and Tyre deserves to be remembered for who he was, his compassion, and the love he shared with those who knew him. We must recognize that his family and loved ones are not only harboring their grief of unexpected personal loss but now must carry the weight of millions of people’s feelings and thoughts about their most traumatizing moment, too. Now is the moment to display, promote, and send forward empathy, care, and support centered-on uplifting Tyre’s loved ones, the Memphis community, and their voice(s) in the immediate aftermath of their loss.

In that sense, our branch will practice and call for a period to grieve, process, think, and reflect as we reground ourselves before acting or speaking to this situation in the context of local action. Tyre Nichols and his legacy are much more than the brutality he was subjected to and must be remembered, celebrated, and championed accordingly. In the weeks to come, we will follow up with our community to propose some spaces and avenues for us to collectively grieve and process this event from the context of its local relevance. After these opportunities to jointly mourn, think, and regroup, we will march forward to continue our joint efforts of bringing into being authentic equity, progress, and Beloved Community.”



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