The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

Campus Reacts to Tyre Nichols’ Death

Campus Reacts to Tyre Nichols Death

On Jan. 7, Tyre Nichols was beaten to death by five Black police officers. 

The beating was caught on video after Nichols was pulled over for reckless driving, documenting the entirety of the confrontation. With the multiple reports of police brutality in the United States, many are feeling hurt and wondering when change will occur.

Dr. Karsonya Wise Whitehead, the founder and executive director of the Karson Institute for Race, Peace & Social Justice at Loyola and Associate Professor of Communication and African American studies at Loyola, shared her reaction upon hearing the breaking news of Tyre Nichols’ death. 

“I was angry, sad, and overwhelmed. I felt like we had come back to the same thing, and I thought we had moved past this. Hearing the news of Tyre Nichol’s death was disheartening,” Whitehead said. 

The training of police officers has come into focus with this case, especially with the release of the footage. While all five officers involved were African American, the case is more focused on the lack of training that the police officers possessed. Bailey Skeeter ‘23, an intern at Loyola’s Center for Community, Service, and Justice explained the larger issues this case brings to light. 

“This incident highlights the ongoing issue of police brutality and systemic racism that exists in our society. The case has sparked discussions about the use of excessive force by law enforcement and the need for accountability and transparency in the justice system,” Skeeter said. 

With the brutality of Nichols’ death being caught on camera, there is debate on whether watching the video, which captures the events in full, is acceptable. 

Skeeter said, “I have not and will not indulge myself in watching the violence that occurred from the officers’ body camera. What comes to mind is those who are continuing to be victims of police brutality. They are sons, brothers, cousins, uncles, and fathers of color.”

Others, like Whitehead, have a different perspective.

“I didn’t want to watch the video, but I only did because of Tyre Nichols’ mother urging everyone to be a part of that moment. If you are not African American, I believe you should watch the video. It’s important to understand what’s going on and to be a witness. However, I also am an advocate of self-care, and doing what is best for you is important,” Whitehead said.

With the issue of police brutality and systemic racism being brought to the forefront of minds, both Whitehead and Skeeter believe it is important to take action.

“Positive change can come through advocating for systemic change, supporting organizations that work towards criminal justice reform, and participating in activism and education initiatives,” said Skeeter. 

For more information and updates on this case, click here.

Featured Image Courtesy of Rebecca Aurigemma.

More to Discover
Activate Search
Campus Reacts to Tyre Nichols’ Death