The Nevada Minority Health and Equity Coalition (NMHEC) and Nevada Institute for Children’s Research and Policy (NICRP) unite in mourning the loss of Mr. Tyre Nichols. We support all our community partners, faculty, staff, and students of UNLV who have been affected and we stand in solidarity with those demanding rightful change. Law enforcement aims to protect life and serve communities, yet we continue to see people and entire communities neglected and brutalized.
The quick response in firing and charging five of the police officers involved in the murder of Mr. Nichols shows that it is possible to hold police officers accountable. It is also a reminder of the inconsistency in accountability across police departments. Racism is a systemic issue; one that is deeply embedded in unwritten policies, practices, and beliefs. While diversifying a workforce can create improvements, it is not the solution to systemic racism, which includes antiblack practices and police brutality.
Systemic change requires structural changes. Our country must change the accountability for police departments, stop the over-policing of communities of color, discontinue training that encourages the use of violence, and transform police culture in ways that stop perpetuating discrimination against people of color. We expect our country to extend the level of accountability given to the five black police officers in Memphis to all police officers, regardless of race.
Beyond accountability, NICRP and NMEC dream and work towards creating systemic changes that lead to a world where black men live long and healthy lives and black communities thrive in environments free of oppression and violence. We pledge to continue confronting the structural challenges and inequities that perpetuate health disparities and violence against people and communities of color. We acknowledge the impact and will not keep silent. We support community-driven strategies designed to uphold genuine public safety and are committed to holding our criminal justice system accountable.
We take a moment to hold space to honor the life of Mr. Tyre Nichols and remember him as a kind, loving man who aspired to become a professional photographer and enjoyed skateboarding and sunsets.
“My name is Tyre D. Nichols. I am an aspiring photographer. Well I mostly do this stuff for fun but i enjoy it very much. Photography helps me look at the world in a more creative way. It expresses me in ways i cannot write down for people.” -Tyre Nichols
“My son loved the sunsets. That was his passion. He loved photography.” “My son was just a beautiful soul. He loved skateboarding. He was just his own person. He didn’t follow what everybody else was doing.” -RowVaughn Wells
“Tyre was just a really loving person. He loved everybody,” “He always was a brother to our kids. … Tyre always accepted them for exactly who they were. That’s the kind of person that he was. He loved everybody and made friends everywhere” -Lori Volker
“He always tried to bring everybody together and put a smile on anybody else’s face before his own” -Austin Roberts
For Parents and Caregivers:
- How to Talk with Kids About Tragedies & Other Traumatic News Events
- Tips for Talking with and Helping Children and Youth Cope After a Disaster or Traumatic Event
- NIMH Tips for Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Traumatic Events