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Statement on Black History Month and Tyre Nichols’ Funeral Service

Today is the first day of Black History Month* and while many of us relish in the excitement that comes with celebrating our people, we must recognize that for many, today does not feel like a day of celebration. On January 7, Tyre Nichols was brutally beaten by five Memphis police officers. Late last week, the video of Tyre Nichols’ gruesome and senseless murder was made public and his murderers were charged while many other first responders were fired or placed on leave. Today, we honor Tyre’s memory as his funeral service takes place at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church in Memphis, TN.

It is unnerving and devastating that we must begin Black History Month by mourning the loss of one of our own. The justice and “public safety” system meant to serve and protect the public has once again shown us how it fails to protect Black communities. It is difficult to rely on this system for a sense of safety when it so frequently exposes its corrupt and oppressive roots. As we hang our heads in sorrow and move through our day with heavy hearts, we continue to lift our fists high as we push on in the never-ending fight for equity and justice.

Despite the recent tragedy, we look towards Black History Month with high hopes – high hopes for justice for Tyre Nichols, high hopes for justice for our community, and high hopes for a future void of insensible injustices against the Black community and all marginalized communities. Black Capitol and Capitol-adjacent family, we are here for you now and always.

*This statement was originally posted on CLBSA social media accounts on February 1, 2023.

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