On behalf of the NAACP Santa Cruz County Branch, we send our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Tyre Nichols. May they know that the people of Santa Cruz County stand with them during this most difficult time.
Too many families have suffered the loss of loved ones at the hands of law enforcement officers who do not uphold the oath that they take to protect and serve. We know this will continue if law enforcement agencies don’t have brave and courageous leaders who are willing to hold their staff accountable to treat each and every citizen with respect while adhering to appropriate policing protocols.
No person, because of their race, gender or identity, should be subjected to differential treatment by law enforcement. No parents, family members or friends should have to mourn the loss of loved ones because of illegal law enforcement practices.
While the bad apples do not represent law enforcement as a whole, if accountability is not held, how will we know the difference? And how can we be called upon to support law enforcement if we can’t tell the difference between the good and the bad? We do not want to see this happen again in Santa Cruz County, much less anywhere else.
To our local law enforcement leaders, we support you to center equity and ensure every person receives equal protection and equitable resources from our law enforcement officers and that your agencies are a model for others to follow.
Tyre, we will speak your name over and over. We will stand with your family, your son and your community in peace and solidarity.
As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stated, “The time is always right to do what is right.”
Elaine Johnson, President of the NAACP Santa Cruz County Branch
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