Tyre Nichols should be alive today. His brutal murder is yet another painful example of police brutality in the United States, especially against communities of color. We grieve for Tyre’s family, friends, and community. The circumstances around his savage beating — an increase in aggressive policing tactics in response to crime — are mirrored in communities across the U.S. This could happen almost anywhere although Tyre Nichols was guilty of no crime other than "driving while black."
We know change is long overdue, and we call upon our leaders — and our entire community — to redouble their efforts to imagine and build a public safety system that serves everyone. We ask the City and the Police Department to ensure that units similar to the SCORPION street crime team - or others that rely heavily on traffic stops or aggressive "stop and frisk" style policing in targeted areas - are not utilized in Durham.
Better responses continue to be urgently needed. The early data on the HEART program is encouraging and we'd like to see the program expand to other areas of the city. The upcoming six month data can help determine if HEART can be expanded to additional offenses. We look forward to increased data from the recently expanded Bull City United violence interrupters and to forthcoming recommendations from the Durham Community Safety and Wellness Task Force. Many other efforts in Durham, including those directed at employment, housing and treatment are an integral part of a larger solution, but funding will be necessary to make these options a reality where they are most needed.
Board of Directors, People's Alliance