Dear YWCA Berkeley/Oakland community,
On January 7, 2023, Tyre Nichols was stopped by law enforcement, allegedly for reckless driving, and was subsequently murdered at the hands of Memphis police officers. Our hearts break for Tyre and his family and for our Black communities. Mothers of Black and brown sons continue to live with a sense of fear for our sons’ safety. Many of us are in a constant state of grief for our communities as one devastating and brutal incident rolls into another and another.
We are devastated by the police violence that continues to exist in our communities. The over-policing of Black Americans and the deaths of Tyre Nichols and so many others before him at the hands of police are deeply intertwined with our nation’s long history of systemic racism and racial injustice.
It’s past time to end the violence. These are not isolated incidents, and YWCA Berkeley/Oakland, as an organization dedicated to the elimination of racism and empowerment of women, joins our voices with those rallying across the country to call for an end to police violence against Black and brown communities.
Unless critical steps are taken, the trauma of police and racial violence will continue and reverberate across the next generations of children and families. We join the call for Congress to reintroduce and pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to increase accountability for law enforcement misconduct and end police brutality in our communities of color. We need to continue to support and vote for representatives who will get this legislation passed.
We must also be careful not to traumatize or re-traumatize ourselves or others. We urge self-care, including the decision by many to avoid the trauma of viewing videos such as the footage of Tyre Nichols traffic stop and other events like this, especially in our Black and brown communities who still suffer under this threat daily.
The YWCA Berkeley/Oakland