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February 01, 2023 CHAIR COLUMN

Chair Statement on the Death of Tyre Nichols

The ABA Civil Rights & Social Justice Section is devastated by the death of Tyre Nichols at the hands of officers from the Memphis Police Department. The excessive and brutal force deployed by the five officers involved as well as their unwillingness or inability to de-escalate or intervene as bystanders creates a lethal precedent that we condemn. With all five officers fired from their position and criminally charged, we hope that they (and all others involved) will be held accountable for their actions in a swift and fair realization of justice.

The three minutes of brutality suffered by Mr. Nichols reminds us, yet again, of the eight minutes and 46 seconds that took the life of George Floyd as well as the uncounted minutes leading to the deaths of so many other individuals, primarily people of color, by law enforcement. CRSJ remains committed to advancing policies that promote a responsible policing which upholds the rule of law and protects the safety and security of all people. The police-involved killings of Mr. Nichols and so many others reflects that we have more work to do, and we devote ourselves and the work of the numerous programs within CRSJ and across the ABA, including the ABA Legal Education Police Practices Consortium, to this purpose.   

Yesterday, the American Bar Association released its official statement regarding this incident.

Juan R. Thomas
Chair, Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice

Juan R. Thomas

ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice, 2022-23 Chair

Juan R. Thomas is the 2022-23 Chair of the ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice and Past President of the National Bar Association (NBA). Currently, he is Of Counsel to Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A., and is the founder and principal of The Thomas Law Group.

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