PHILADELPHIA – Feb. 1, 2023 – Today, State Senator Art Haywood (D-Montgomery/Philadelphia) released the following statement in response to the kidnapping and murder of Tyre Nichols at the hands of police in Memphis, Tenn. this month:

“On 7 January, five Black Memphis police officers savagely beat and tortured a 29-year-old Black man, Tyre Nichols, after a traffic stop. Several law enforcement and medical officers watched or failed to render appropriate aid. Three days later, Tyre died from the attack.

As I shared in my remarks at the Prayer Vigil for Justice, Peace, and Respect on Tuesday night at Congregation Beth Or in Maple Glen, this violation of human dignity and human rights is deeply painful, especially as a father of a Black skateboarder. I send my condolences to Tyre’s family.

The decision to terminate and charge the five officers was quick. At the same time, independent investigations are critical to prevent police departments from investigating themselves in uses of deadly force. Therefore, I support the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the FBI for taking action and opening investigations, including a civil rights investigation.

No traffic stop should turn deadly. This violent arrest, severe beating, and fatal attack are unacceptable. A person stopped by police, resisting arrest, or fleeing the scene does not warrant a brutal killing. I condemn the savage beating of Tyre Nichols and I look forward to justice being served.

I will continue to advocate for legislation that requires full and independent investigations into use of deadly force by police officers. It is time for the decent people in the commonwealth and across the nation to stand up and condemn police brutality.”