"It seems impossible that anyone with a shred of humanity could see the wanton violence inflicted on Tyre Nichols and not be heart-stricken. To hear his cries for his mother, to see him struggle on the ground from the pain that had been inflicted, and to observe a crew of police stand by indifferent to his anguish from the beating they delivered shocks the conscience. That this kind of lethal assault could once again occur after years of national soul-searching - impelled by names such as Floyd, Garner, Scott, and so many others - leaves us outraged and bewildered.
"Perhaps there is some small measure of comfort to be taken from the promptness with which the involved officers were charged with murder. The temporizing in other cases of police violence, the tardiness or lack of accountability, compounded the injustice. Nevertheless, as progress goes, it seems meager.
"However long and difficult the road ahead may be, I continue to believe that the values and tools of our scholarly community - reason; discourse; analysis; non-violence; belief in the dignity of the individual; the pursuit of knowledge and truth and understanding; engagement; diversity, equity, and inclusion - are the surest path to lasting justice and peace. The employment of these values to shape the future and make progress is what drew me to pursue a life as a university educator; I hope it is what drew all of you to this community, too. And if you choose to join protests, I urge you to reaffirm your commitment to peaceful protest, as the Nichols family has called for, and to keep yourself safe.
"Many of us will understandably struggle with what we see in the videos released on Friday and their broader social implications. I want to remind you of the availability of resources to support you, including the Wellness Exchange for students (212.443.9999 or [email protected]), the Employee Assistance Program for employees, the Office of Global Spiritual Life, and the Office of Global Inclusion. Remember, too, the simple healing power of reaching out and offering your hand to someone who is struggling, or in seeking the helping hand of others - this is a time to draw strength from one another.
"We grieve with the Nichols family and Tyre’s loved ones and friends. Our community is joined today in sorrow and outrage and frustration, but also, I would like to believe, in hope for a better and more just future." —NYU President Andrew Hamilton