Press release: Statement from President Joe Biden on Tyre Nichols

The White House sent the following to the press list Friday night at 7:27 p.m.


January 27, 2023

Statement from President Joe Biden on Tyre Nichols

Like  so many, I was outraged and deeply pained to see the horrific video of  the beating that resulted in Tyre Nichols’ death. It is yet another  painful reminder of the profound fear and trauma, the pain, and the  exhaustion that Black and Brown Americans experience every single day. 

My heart goes out to Tyre Nichols’ family and to Americans in Memphis  and across the country who are grieving this tremendously painful loss.  The footage that was released this evening will leave people justifiably  outraged. Those who seek justice should not to resort to violence or  destruction. Violence is never acceptable; it is illegal and  destructive. I join Mr. Nichols’ family in calling for peaceful  protest. 

I spoke with RowVaughn Wells and Rodney Wells, Mr. Nichols’ mother and  stepfather, this afternoon. There are no words to describe the  heartbreak and grief of losing a beloved child and young father. Nothing  can bring Mr. Nichols back to his family and the Memphis community. But  Mr. and Mrs. Wells, Mr. Nichols’ son, and his whole family deserve a  swift, full, and transparent investigation. 

We must do everything in our power to ensure our criminal justice system  lives up to the promise of fair and impartial justice, equal treatment,  and dignity for all. Real and lasting change will only come if we take  action to prevent tragedies like this from ever happening again. That is  why I called on Congress to send the George Floyd Justice in Policing  Act to my desk. When Senate Republicans blocked that bill, I signed an  executive order that mandated stricter use of force standards and  accountability provisions for federal law enforcement, as well as  measures to strengthen accountability at the state and local level.


January 27, 2023

South Lawn
5:49 P.M. EST
Q    Talk to us about Tyre Nichols, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT:  Yes.  I spoke with Tyre’s mother and expressed my condolences, and told her that I was going to be making the case to the Congress to pass the George Floyd Act.  We should get this under control.  I can only do so much in an executive order at a federal level. 
And — and the prayers — I was really pleased that she called for no — peaceful protests, no — no violence, no movement at all.  And so, I — you know, I spoke with her about, I don’t know, 10, 15 minutes.  And —
Q    How concerned are you, sir, about the violence and the potential for that?
THE PRESIDENT:  Well — well, I am.  I’m — I’m obviously very concerned about it.  But I think she has made a very strong plea.  She’s obviously in enormous pain. 
She talked about, as you heard her when she spoke publicly — but she also talked about how — how she didn’t know what she was going to do.  And I told her that — that it — that — I told her I had some idea of what that loss was like and that although it’s impossible to believe now, the time will come when his memory brings a smile before a tear.  And she said she already is thinking about what — what he would want her to do, which is — which is very positive.  So —
Q    What is at stake tonight, sir, with the nation watching this video tape and what could happen?  What is at stake?
THE PRESIDENT:  What’s at stake is, first of all, innocent people’s lives, number one. 
Number two, it has a lot to say and do with the image of America.  It has a lot to do with whether or not we are the country we say we are — that we’re a country of law and order and means by which we can peacefully protest and let the courts make their judgments.
Thank you very much.    
5:51 P.M. EST    

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