Community members, allies, and friends,
We demand police reform.
We are asking you to stand in solidarity this Sunday, January 29, 2-3 pm at Park Square in Pittsfield with the NAACP, Berkshire County Branch, and our community partners to protest the death of another Black man by police. We know the exhaustion of constant police brutality, but we cannot give up the fight for police reform. Our lives depend on it.
I want to make note, that as we prepare ourselves to see the media push the body camera footage of Tyre Nichols being chased, beaten, and murdered, by officers of the Memphis Police Department this evening, you do not have to watch another person–a brother, a father, a cousin, a friend, a son–being murdered by police officers. We know these images will be traumatic to all who see them.
As Bernice King posted “it should not require another video of a Black human being dehumanized for anyone to understand that police brutality is an urgent, devastating issue.”
These events are not normal, or healthy or create a society in which any of us can truly live in peace. Please know your feelings of being overwhelmed with grief, anxiety, and anger are shared by many. During times of trauma, we encourage everyone to lean on those they can trust. Reach out and talk with those you think are struggling, and reach out to those you trust to process your own feelings in a healthy way.
Remember, we all deserve dignity, liberation loves company, and Tyre deserves to be alive today.
Dennis Powell, President, NAACP Berkshire County Branch