Outrage, Heartbreak, Resistance at Police Murder of Tyre Nichols

January 27, 2023 – In response to the release of the video of Tyre Nichols’ murder by five Memphis police, the Center for Constitutional Rights issued the following statement:

We join our community in outrage and heartbreak over the brutal murder of Tyre Nichols at the hands of five Memphis police officers. We are overwhelmed by the magnitude of loss, and incredulous at government actors’ failure to take meaningful action against such relentless state violence against Black people, which is inherent to the project of policing in the U.S., indoctrinating Black and white officers alike.

The criminal charges against the individual officers who murdered Tyre Nichols do not address the fundamentality of state violence against Black people. Accountability requires an end to the police killing of Black people, a government that fulfills its obligation to guarantee human rights, the abolition of violent state institutions, and a robust public investment in the services, infrastructure, and resources our people need and deserve. Justice requires that Black people and those whose lives have been systemically devalued not only have what is needed to survive, but to experience joy, rest, healing and repair. 

In addition, neither justice nor accountability are served when the state criminalizes public expressions of grief and resistance. The Center for Constitutional Rights denounces the ongoing crackdown on protesters as they take to the streets, gather in community, and build the power necessary to overturn and abolish the racist system of policing in this country. In a status quo of white supremacy and unfettered state violence, we know that resistance is under attack, and we stand with the people who are fighting for transformation and liberation.

With much sorrow and continued commitment to the world we deserve,

The Center for Constitutional Rights

**The Center for Constitutional Rights welcomes the attention of the international community to the reality of systemic anti-Black racism in law enforcement and the criminal legal system in the United States, and encourages our community to engage with the new UN mechanism in its upcoming country visit, April 24 – May 5, 2023. See here for more details on how to submit information to the UN mechanism.


The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at ccrjustice.org.


Last modified 

January 27, 2023