New York lawmakers are also voicing statements on the Memphis Police murder of Tyre Nichols, who was brutally beaten to death by five Black cops during a Jan. 7 police stop.
Here are some of their words.
U.S Senator Chuck Schumer tweeted: “I am heartbroken, horrified, and appalled by the heinous murder of Tyre Nichols.
“The repetitiveness of unjust murders is a stain on America.
“The five police officers betrayed their oath to serve and protect, and they should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand released the following statement: “Tyre Nichols’ death is outrageous and horrifying, and I am grateful that the officers responsible were quickly charged with his murder. I am praying for Tyre’s mother, son, family and friends, along with the Memphis community and our country. More must be done at every level of government to eliminate violence and brutality from our criminal justice system and to change the circumstances that make such atrocities possible.”
U.S. Representative Ritchie Torres (NY-15) issued the following: “Tyre Nichols, a young Black man, was brutally beaten to death by the brute force of over-policing, and all five officers must be held accountable to the fullest extent possible under the law.
“Having the ‘wrong’ skin color in the wrong place at the wrong time can be a racist death sentence for young Black men in America, as we’ve been tragically reminded and re-traumatized once again.
“I am speechless. I am shocked. And I am sick to my stomach. We must come together to once and for all to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to end qualified immunity, combat police misconduct, and demand accountability.”
New York Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn said this: “The horrific murder of Tyre Nichols by the blood-soaked hands of five police officers is both heartbreaking and infuriating. It shakes our collective conscience.
“Yesterday’s footage displays the violent and abhorrent brutality of the officers, who held down and pummeled the young man to his eventual death while he helplessly cried for his mother.
“My heart breaks for Tyre’s family and loved ones as they remain in my prayers.
“The heinous murder, while fellow police stood by and did nothing, defies humanity and is a far too common instance of the unjust force, racism, and bias in policing that plague our nation.
“While I am thankful the five officers met swift justice and were charged with murder, it does not bring Tyre back. This event erodes trust in law enforcement for communities who depend on the police to keep us safe.
“We need more action to create further accountability, not just for the police force involved in Tyre’s murder, but across our nation, and I join fellow Democrats in calling for the House to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
“I urge New Yorkers to use peaceful means of protest and remind everyone that violence is never the answer as we seek justice.”
New York City Council Member Crystal Hudson released the following: “Here we are, once again, at a moment with which we’re all too familiar: the vicious murder of an unarmed Black person by cops. This time, his name was Tyre Nichols. This time, it was in Memphis, Tennessee. This time, and every time, chiefs of police are calling for calm because responsibility and accountability don’t apply to them; because, to them, the hurt, anger, and sadness of our communities is something they can brush off with tear gas and riot gear, kettling and pepper spray; because, reforming the police is an impossible task when, since their inception, they have been a force defined, applauded, and encouraged by their use of violence against Black people, brown people, and poor people.
“I ask New Yorkers to stand strong in calling for justice for Tyre Nichols, to be relentless in their organizing against police brutality. I ask New Yorkers to love each other and protect each other, because in moments like these, we are all we have.
“I ask New Yorkers to uplift one another in our mourning of Tyre and in our celebration of his life.
“He should still be here today.”
Former Assemblymember Michael Blake said: “Tyre Nichols was lynched by members of the Memphis police and the injustice system.
“I’ve tried to write a statement several times in the last five hours but simply couldn’t gather my thoughts in any clear way. My mind, my heart, my soul are hurting.
“It is obvious that a police involved lynching occurred in Memphis that not only killed another Black King but should remind us all that a criminal injustice system still exists where police brutality is so pervasive that such levels of hate against Black people, especially Black men, even unfortunately sometimes from our own, is more ever present than the breath that should exist within our bodies.
“Then after being absolutely tortured, Tyre waited 22 minutes for an Ambulance. How absolutely inhumane are these persons and the system to literally do everything possible to ensure that he would not survive?
“And for what? Simply power. Clearly not Justice.
“The fact that government buildings and education facilities were closed early on Friday demonstrate that the fear of retaliation was greater than the fear of taking Tyre’s life.
“But, equally reflect that a decision was made to wait until the last possible moment of a work week to hopefully be as least disruptive to the economic and social system as possible rather than attempting to disrupt the corruption and injustice behind too many within law enforcement.
“I’ve been in contact with Memphis elected officials and local leaders who are asking for peaceful protests despite the feelings of anything but within our hearts. It is absolutely understandable to feel rage, anger, disgust, hopelessness and a sense of being lost on what to do, especially as a Black Man.
“We will immediately determine with any coalition of the willing the sustained changes that must occur not just in Memphis but across the police industrial complex. From transparency of training modules that ensure that we are not immediately perceived as threats, especially when interacting with anyone dealing with Autism or any other ailment, to the determination of benefits being stripped away upon conviction, from disclosure of Grand Jury transcripts within police involved deaths to accountability on any person who covers up said crimes, especially those who wrote that press release that clearly contained lies and deception from the Memphis police, we must utilize this moment to transformatively reform racist institutionalized systems that brutalize Black people each and every day.
“To all Black Men, I love you King. I see you. I respect you. I honor you.
“To Tyre’s family, you should not have to endure your loved one being a martyr. It’s not right. It’s not fair. We will not let his life be taken in vain.
“Simply put, as a Black man, I just want to make it home alive. That’s all.
“Tyre Nichols is the latest tragic reminder that for all of us, it’s simply not guaranteed.”