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Statement by GOAL President Brian Downey on the Police Beating Death of Tyre Nichols

What we as a profession and a nation have borne witness to this evening is not, nor can it ever be seen as an enforcement encounter. There is no justification, there is no reason for the conduct demonstrated by these murderers. There was no attempt, although plenty of opportunity, by these former officers to put Mr. Nichols in handcuffs. This is a vile and disgusting gang assault; certainly nothing less and most probably something much more.

A 29-year-old man’s heart has stopped as a result of actions taken by those wearing a uniform and took a sacred oath to uphold the rule of law. With those actions, they have dishonored their uniform, they have failed to uphold their oath. Not only have they betrayed the trust of the public, they have betrayed everyone that wears a uniform, taken that same oath or serves in the administration of justice.

Tyre Nichols' heart ceases to beat and the heart of humanity remains wounded.

As the Gay Officers Action League, an organization that seeks to advance civil and human rights for LGBTQIA+ People, it is our responsibility to call out injustice when we see it, especially when injustice is committed by the actions and at the hands of those in our respective professions.

Tonight, my ask of this organization, our families, our friends, and our allies is to pray for Mr. Nichols' mother and stepfather, his entire family and those who knew and loved him. There is no crime committed that justifies the crime against him.

I also ask you to renew your commitment to us, as GOAL, to continue our mission of advancing the rights of those who can’t defend themselves, who don’t have a voice, who are scared and vulnerable.

Together, we must be visible in the pursuit of justice for Mr. Nichols.

Together, we must work to ensure the rights of those who peacefully protest but remain vigilant as we know there are those that seek to do harm.

To those in our organization who wear a uniform, remain safe. To those who work in the administration of justice, please continue your duties with integrity.

We must be subject to one another, and when we fail at that, we all fail.


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