Breaking News
More () »

Tyre Nichols killing goes beyond race for community leaders across the Twin Cities

Many in communities across the country find themselves speechless at what's unfolding in Memphis, Tennessee.

MINNEAPOLIS — As wounds amid a racial reckoning continue to heal, 

"It's okay to take time to rest and recuperate whenever you can," said Dr. Alvin Akibar, director with the Urban League Twin Cities Center for Social Justice Research. 

Many in communities across the country find themselves speechless at what's unfolding in Memphis Tennessee. 

"I don't really have words, I just can't imagine what the family and community are dealing with," said Justin Terrell, Executive Director of the Minnesota Justice Research Center

Yet the trauma of police brutality involving another unarmed Black man, killed by five Black police officers is top of mind once again for Terrell. 

"How we do law enforcement it shouldn't matter what color the person is wearing the uniform, they have a duty and a responsibility to help people, to help build safe communities," said Terrell. 

Communities like the one at 38th and Chicago, which was ground zero nearly three years ago, initiating the start of this country's racial reckoning. 

"We know that on 38th and Chicago, right around the corner it was an Asian officer, and a mixed officer who aided and abetted Derek Chauvin when he lynched a Black man," said Marcia Howard, who's been out at George Floyd Square since day one. 

While there is a racial component tied to the death of Tyre Nichols,

"I think it's definitely going to be an important part of the conversation here," said Dr. Akibar. 

The issue this time around for some, is much deeper than race. 

"Five black men? They're blue, they're blue. The culture of policing is what lead to the death of George Floyd, it lead to the death of Tyre Nichols," said Howard. 

She went on to say, "this nation has to deal with the fact that the culture of policing is predicated upon anti-blackness, and until we fully deal with it we'll continue to have the brutality that we are seeing on film."

"Everyday the work matters to build a more just criminal legal system to ensure that we're building safe communities," said Terrell. 

Despite the killing of Nichols, some point to the progress being made by the men and women in blue who truly do care about the well-being and safety of those in our community. 

"They can't do this work if we continue to allow for this kind of behavior, and we can't help them be better at their jobs if we don’t reckon with the history that got us to this point," said Terrell. 

Watch more local news:

Watch the latest local news from the Twin Cities in our YouTube playlist:

Before You Leave, Check This Out