UCC leaders lament death of Tyre Nichols with release of fatal police beating video
The United Church of Christ National Officers and the Conference Minister of the Missouri Mid-South Conference UCC offer public condolences and prayer as the City of Memphis releases video footage of the fatal Jan. 7 beating of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols by Memphis police. Nichols died from his injuries three days later. Five police officers are charged with his murder.
The United Church of Christ joins all whose anger, grief, and horror have been triggered by the recent beating by Memphis police officers that resulted in the tragic death of Tyre Nichols.
We extend to his mother, to whom he cried out repeatedly during the sustained beating he endured at the hands of five Memphis police officers, and to his family and loved ones our sympathy, our prayers, and our promise to continue the work of calling for an end to this kind of police brutality. Violence like this is criminal and demands response. Protests, demonstrations of public outrage and calls for accountability should ensure that those responsible for this tragedy are brought to justice; and also to reduce the chances of it happening yet again.
People of faith must lift their voices in anger, in outrage, and in grief over this tragic killing. Our lament will continue until every mother’s child knows they can walk the streets without worrying that those mandated with protecting us are the danger we fear or face.
In memory of Tyre Nichols, and in solidarity with his mother, his family, his loved ones, and with the collective voice of all who feel this deep pain we offer our own lament.
God whose image every child bears, hear us as we cry out in grief over the tragic loss of our brother Tyre.
God whose vision for the world is Shalom, hear us as we cry out for an end to brutality and violence at the hands of peace officers.
God whose hope is that all will be treated with respect, hear us as we express our outrage at another black body mauled and left without breath by those wearing a badge.
God whose justice we long for, hear us as we grieve another tragic and untimely death from those who lord their power over others.
God whose love conquers all, hear our cry now for love to heal a grieving mother as she buries her son and who had to suffer the indignity of visiting his broken body in the hospital.
Hear our cry.
Receive our lament.
Transform our anger into action, our fear into hope, our brokenness into healing.
This is our prayer.
The Elected Officers of the United Church of Christ
The Rev. John C. Dorhauer, General Minister and President
The Rev. Traci Blackmon, Associate General Minister and Vice President
The Rev. Karen Georgia Thompson, Associate General Minister and Vice President
The Rev. Mary W. Nelson, Conference Minister, Missouri Mid-South Conference UCC
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