PHILADELPHIA – City and community leaders shared their statements to the public following the release of a video depicting the fatal beating of Tyre Nichols by Memphis police.

Mayor Jim Kenney: 
“I am horrified by the brutal and inhumane violence that led to Tyre Nichols’ death. My heart breaks for his family and community, and from knowing that so many people across the country, including here in Philadelphia, live in fear that this could happen to them or a loved one. With this injustice, we are again reminded of America’s long and painful history of violence, especially against Black Americans and people of color. Senseless violence is never acceptable, including by those who have sworn to protect others and uphold public safety. We have taken steps forward to reform policing in Philadelphia and advanced our public safety practices to build trust and protect residents, and we will continue to do more. I thank our partners in this ongoing work; moments like this underscore how desperately change is needed.

“I join many leaders locally and nationally in calling for peaceful protest; speaking out and uniting our voices is a powerful way to drive progress in our country. We encourage our residents to exercise their First Amendment rights, stay safe, and show care for themselves and one another during this difficult time.”

Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw:
“What happened to Tyre Nichols is appalling, and these officers’ actions undermine the very principles that law enforcement officers are sworn to uphold.

“I want to thank Memphis PD Chief C.J. Davis for taking swift and necessary action by removing these officers from their duties.

“The pain and anguish felt in our communities is real, and we recognize that people may want to express it publicly.  We want to assure the public that we are here to protect their First Amendment rights. While feelings of anger and despair may be present, we ask for these public expressions to be respectful to others, and also to our own communities.

“The safety of all demonstrators, along with the safety of our residents, business owners, and visitors are a top priority for the Philadelphia Police Department.”

Reverend Naomi Washington-Leaphart, Director for Faith-Based and Interfaith Affairs, City of Philadelphia:
“My already-broken heart has been shattered once again in the wake of the brutal killing of Tyre Nichols by Memphis police officers. Philadelphia knows well this kind of pain, and we join the communities of Memphis in mourning the loss of Tyre’s light. How much longer will tragedy be the catalyst for swift accountability? How much longer will grief be the context for justice? When will care finally be the first response of all public servants? When will enough be enough? Black lives matter, and like the biblical ancestors of my faith, I refuse to be comforted, until the day a badge is no longer a license to kill. I pray that Tyre’s memory will forever be a blessing to all who loved him.”

Pastor Carl Day, President and Founder of Culture Changing Christians:
“I’m deeply saddened, disgusted, and beyond frustrated by what we’ve had to witness yet again in America. We’ve seen evil on full display, yet another Black life brutally taken away in a psychologically defeating, deflating way. This has displayed what we’ve known for quite some time, that the lives of Black men aren’t valued enough and can be destroyed and discarded at any time. This has displayed that the issue of police violence is not merely placed in the race of an officer, but the culture of policing nationwide. This cannot and will not merely be solved by hiring more Black officers. The above-the-law and above-reproach culture backed by unions and laws needs to be addressed as well. We will need to get organized and active. This effort will take intentionality and sophistication as we seek to dismantle what was sophisticatedly set up. I ask that we take our frustration and anger and build together, so that we can tear down these systems and not tear down our communities. We’ve seen progress in the Citizens Police Oversight Commission, and in our local Driving Equality Bill which could have prevented that routine stop from even happening. This is progress but we need to build even more solutions, and Black men specifically, we have to band together and build together because honestly all we have is us. I am praying that The Lord would stir us up to become people of wisdom, unity, and action in a time like this.”

Reverend Dr. Allyn E. Waller, Senior Pastor of Enon Tabernacle Church:
“Psalm 147:3 NKJV
3 He heals the brokenhearted
And binds up their wounds.

“We live in a world where injustice still happens, but we do need to act as citizens in this moment. We anticipate a wave of emotions to surface at the sight of another alleged case of excessive force, but we must allow the system to run its course and hold those in policy making positions accountable!! Change will not come if we wait for some other person or for some other time. We must engage in activities that enhance the well-being and equitable treatment of diverse individuals. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek, and we must respond in a way that will bring peaceful change. In any moment of decision, the best thing one can do is the right thing, the next thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing one can do is nothing!! So, as we proceed, let’s make decisions that will bring forth justice and change for people of color. The lyrics of the song ‘Wake Up Everybody’ are as relevant now as they were in 1975: ‘The world won’t get no better if we just let it be, The world won’t get no better we gotta change it, just you and me’ (Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes).

“We express our heartfelt condolences to the family of Tyre Nichols and the entire Memphis community. Outrage is understandable, but violence is never acceptable.

“Now more than ever, it is important that we work against racism, police brutality, poverty, health and mental health disparities, violence, mass incarceration, and other injustices. Injustices never rest, and neither can we! ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to Justice everywhere.'”

Eric Westbrook, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Black Male Engagement:
As the Director for the Mayor’s Office of Black Male Engagement, it is my utmost honor to strive towards a city that reflects the equity every resident deserves by creating the access to resources and opportunity necessary for Black men and boys to thrive as valued residents in our city. The recent death of Tyre Nichols is a devastating tragedy in the all too familiar narrative of negative experiences Black men and boys have with their city government. I am outraged at another misuse of authority and disregard for human life. Most of the time these events tend to have a racially or culturally charged context, but in this case the five main suspects are Black men, adding more difficulty for our community. As we all brace ourselves for the release of the body camera footage, I pray we all peacefully stand in solidarity against this inexcusable act of injustice and stand with the family of Tyre Nichols and our extended family of Memphis, Tennessee. God bless.”

Anthony Erace, Executive Director of the Citizens Police Oversight Commission:
“Police reform has been at the forefront of the national consciousness, often precipitated by incidents that stir strong emotions from all sides. One thing most incidents lack is consensus. What we have all seen with the murder of Tyre Nichols is uniform outrage from everyone who has viewed the footage of his death. CPOC stands with the family of Tyre Nichols in their fight for justice. Police reform is public safety.”

The City of Philadelphia provides several resources, services, and supports for mental health and wellness that residents can access during difficult times: