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For Immediate Release
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NAACP Reacts to Charges Filed Against Memphis Police Officers in Killing of Tyre Nichols

NAACP President & CEO: “Justice looks like the 535 members of Congress taking the time to turn their ‘thoughts and prayers’ into action and change.”


Today, the Memphis Police Department announced that it had arrested and charged the five officers involved in the brutal death of Tyre Nichols with second-degree murder. The announcement came ahead of the anticipated release of the bodycam footage detailing the incident. NAACP President & CEO, Derrick Johnson released the following statement in reaction to this announcement:

"It is only right that the Memphis Police Department takes the necessary additional steps to hold these officers accountable for their role in ripping apart a family and traumatizing a community. However, this is far from what justice looks like. Justice looks like the 535 members of Congress taking the time to turn their 'thoughts and prayers' nto action and change.

Congress: do something. By failing to write a piece of legislation, you're writing another obituary. By failing to pass the legislation, you're passing on your sworn duty to protect the people. We know just how much all of you will be thinking and praying upon the release of the video, you don't need to mention it. Instead, tell us what you're going to do about it. Tell us what you're going to do to honor Tyre Nichols. Tell us what you're going to do to show his family, his loving son, and this entire nation, that his life was not lost in vain. We can name all the victims of police violence, but we can't name a single law you have passed to address it."

Founded Feb. 12. 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest, largest and most widely recognized grassroots-based civil rights organization. Its more than half-million members and supporters throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.