Response to video release of fatal interaction of Memphis police and Mr. Tyre Nichols.
Dear UCSF Community,
The news coming from Memphis is heartbreaking. Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black father and son, died after being beaten by five police officers following a traffic stop earlier this month. Like many across the country, we are struggling to understand how another Black person has died in a situation many of us would never consider life-threatening. Our thoughts go out to the Nichols family and his friends.
The familiarity of this tragic narrative is beyond frustrating. Though efforts to strengthen policing practices across the nation have been made since the passing of George Floyd, further constructive changes are needed. For what we witnessed in the death of Tyre Nichols was more than a catastrophic failure in policing, it was an attack on our humanity. We grieve and know that it is not enough.
The coming days will be a trying time as more information about the circumstances of Mr. Nichols’s death becomes public. The videos of how the Memphis police confronted Mr. Nichols are difficult to watch. For many, this incident may trigger traumatic feelings, and we urge you to connect with others if that would be helpful. You may also reach out to UCSF’s counseling resources for students, faculty, and staff for additional support.
As always, please take care of yourself and those around you.
Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor
J. Renee Navarro, PharmD, MD
Vice Chancellor – Office of Diversity and Outreach
Chief Diversity Officer
Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology and Perioperative Care
Police Chief, UCSF Police Department
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