FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 27, 2023
PHRC Executive Director responds to Tyre Nichols video
Harrisburg, PA- Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) Executive Director has released the following statement in response to the bodycam footage of the murder of Tyre Nichols in Memphis, Tennessee.
"Once again, our nation is dealing with the murder of a Black man at the hands of police officers," said Chad Dion Lassiter, PHRC Executive Director, MSW. "The brutality exhibited by these officers towards Tyre Nichols showed a severe lack of humanity. What started as a simple traffic stop escalated into the violent beating and killing of a man.
"This video is violent and horrific. Watching it triggered a form of vicarious traumatization for me. Therefore, everyone should be mindful of how the viewing of murder can impact their mental health."
"While I was grateful to see the quick announcement of kidnapping and murder charges against the five officers, there is much more that needs to be done across the country, including in our commonwealth, to dismantle systemic racism and bias in our institutions and communities. We must insist on changing our police culture and ending a history of police violence against people of color. We can achieve this by ensuring our police departments have transparent policies and offer trainings in unconscious bias and ethnic intimidation.
"I stand in support of those who are calling for reforms and planning peaceful protests. PHRC will monitor events around Pennsylvania and the nation and will continue to play a vital role in eradicating racism and discrimination through training, advocacy and more."
If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis and in need of immediate help, please call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988. Mental health resources are available for those experiencing racial trauma, click here for more information.
The PHRC, the state's leading social justice enforcement agency, urges anyone who has experienced acts of discrimination or hate to file a complaint with the PHRC by calling 717-787-4410. Information and resources are also available at www.PHRC.pa.gov.
MEDIA CONTACT: Amanda Brothman, Director of Communications