North NJ DSA

North NJ DSA Statement on the Murder of Tyre Nichols

January 31 2023

The North New Jersey Democratic Socialists of America (NNJDSA) condemn in the strongest possible terms the actions of the Memphis police officers who savagely murdered Tyre Nichols. Time and time again we see the police harass, beat, and kill, rather than serve and protect. We demand an end to police violence now!

The horrific footage of the beating of yet another Black man during a traffic stop is all too familiar. It clearly reveals that all the increased funding for police from local and national politicians, including President Biden’s stimulus spending do NOT work. As the abolitionist Derecka Purnell writes about Tyre Nichols:

“All of the reforms failed at the same damn time – black cops, body cameras, multiple cops on the scene, tasers instead of guns- so how is more reform the answer? Blacker cops? Even non-deadlier non deadly weapons? Ten cops instead of five? HD body cameras? Harder convictions?”

The facts speak for themselves. Police killed more people in 2022 than any other year in the past decade. 1,186 people were killed by police in 2022. Black people were 3x more likely to be killed by police than white people and 1.3x more likely to be unarmed. All the massive funding, technology and military equipment has made living in America more dangerous, particularly for Black men. Policing is not broken. It is doing as its intended role of protecting private property and maintaining the social order on behalf of the rich.

Every community has a Tyre Nichols. A grand jury in Newark just came back after languishing for 2 years with a non-indictment for a police officer who fatally shot Carl Dorsey, a Black father of three from South Orange. We support the People’s Organization for Progress, a civil rights group based in Newark, and their demand for justice for Carl Dorsey.

From mental illness to homelessness to poverty to truancy and traffic stops, the USA relies more and more on police to deal with all the fissures in our grossly unequal society. The police cannot solve the structural problems of capitalism. They can only respond with violence. When property, corporations and the rich are prioritized over the needs and wants of working people, we need to come together to create a system that prioritizes the majority of us instead.

NNJDSA is fighting for a world where no one is murdered by police at traffic stops, or while walking, sleeping, on their way home, or just existing. Where cries for one’s mother are not the last resort of the suffering and dying. NNJDSA is fighting for a world where people and communities live in safety and with the resources to thrive with public education, fair housing, and equitable healthcare. This is true safety: freedom from want.