Arrests are not enough, the cycle must be broken.
The killing of Tyre Nichols shows the world that we cannot continue to over-police minority
communities. It does not solve communal ills – all it does is brutalize black and brown
communities. This endless cycle of oppression is unconscionable, and must end.
A lot of people will be describing themselves as shocked and horrified over the coming hours
and days, as the disgusting video of 5 Memphis Police officers brutally beating Tyre Nichols is
shown over and over again. I am horrified, but not shocked. This happens, again and again and
again. And every single time, politicians who refuse to change our systems of policing pretend to be surprised that changing nothing results in another murder on our streets.
It is clear that we cannot continue to have a mayor that permits rogue policing, nor a mayor who
allows police to brutalize protesters speaking out for black lives, as the outgoing administration
did. Raising bridges, holding protesters hostage and causing our neighborhoods to be looted is
unacceptable from the mayor’s office. We cannot have a mayor supported by the Fraternal
Order of Police, who will enable law enforcement to oppress our citizens. We cannot have a
candidate who will instruct police to “hunt [Chicagoans] down like rabbits”. Tolerating this will
only allow police to cause our city more trauma, more heartbreak, and more deaths.
We also cannot have candidates who have not shown up, while families in their own city are hurt
and traumatized by police. No one has been there to support them and fight for them. This is just
another case to add to the myriad of cases showing that what we are doing, in regards to
policing, is not working. We must take a holistic approach to public safety and mental health,
one that does not begin or end with the police.
In our administration, we will not stand for this. We will hold any officer accountable for the use
of excessive force. It will be swift, it will be transparent, and it will be just.