Congresswoman Madeleine Dean (PA-04) released the following statement on the police killing of Tyre Nichols:
"I spent much of the weekend thinking about the savage beating and murder of Tyre Nichols at the hands of five Memphis Police officers.
Sworn to protect and serve? They did neither. If they did, Tyre Nichols would have gone home to dinner with his family; he would be alive today; he would be with his four-year-old son; the rest of his family and friends.
Instead, his family said the police beat him so severely that he was unrecognizable in that hospital bed.
Deadly traffic stops are far too common: before, and since, the murder of George Floyd, African Americans remain fearful that a traffic stop could end in death.
I’m a mother to a 29-year-old son — the same age as Tyre. I have not worried that my sons could die in an exchange with the police at a traffic stop. This is a privilege that mostly white mothers have in this country.
Black Americans are killed at a rate twice as high as white Americans. A 2019 report found that one in every 1,000 Black men between ages 20-35 can expect to be killed by law enforcement.
Decades of criminalizing and over-policing Black Americans have not made any of us safer. No one.
The officers were charged with murder — but that is not enough. There is more work to be done to ensure all communities, all citizens, are safe — regardless of color.
Our government and nation must be dedicated to reducing this shameful reality. We must do something — pass the George Floyd Justice and Policing Act and find ways to reverse a police culture that sees Black Americans as a threat.
We can respect police officers as we require reform.
Black Americans have waited long enough. Congress must act."
Rep. Madeleine Dean is a mother, grandmother, attorney, professor, former four-term member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and U.S. Representative for the Fourth District of Pennsylvania.