Criminal justice activists hold rally in Yonkers following the death of Tyre Nichols
Criminal justice activists held a rally Monday night in Yonkers for Tyre Nichols, who was fatally beaten by police in Memphis, Tennessee.
The violent death of Tyre Nichols has sparked outrage across the country. Since the disturbing body cam video was released Friday evening, many in the area have been speaking out about the death.
Mayors from Hudson Valley communities, local politicians and members of law enforcement and police departments in the region have condemned the actions of the five now-former Memphis police officers.
Advocates have been at the corner of Odell and Warburton avenues since George Floyd's murder in Minneapolis in 2020. They stood stand silent to remember how long Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin dug his knee into Floyd's neck.
They are calling for federal police reforms and are using the rally to recognize all the people police have killed over the last five years.
"We, the Black community, need to show up and show out at every chance to ensure that we will not continue to stand idly by while our children are being killed," says Kisha Skipper, of the Yonkers NAACP. "The misconception is the system is not working when in reality the system is working in the manner in which it was designed, which is to keep Black people in place."
Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano attended the rally. He told the crowd something like this can't happen again.
News 12 spoke with Ossining Police Chief Kevin Sylvester, who is also the president of the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police. Sylvester says the organization is angered, frustrated and outraged by the actions that caused Nichols' death. He says a culture change is needed.
"If we're going to be successful in this industry, we've got to look at every person like a person with an opportunity to improve," says Sylvester. "We're here to make people safe, not to be judge, jury, and executioner."
New York implemented mandatory police reforms three years ago.
All eyes will now be on Washington over the next eight days leading up to President Joe Biden's State of the Union speech where the Nichols family will be in attendance.