A statement from TCHC, regarding Tyre Nichols

TORONTO - Toronto Community Housing has issued this statement regarding Tyre Nichols.

The only thing more difficult than explaining the unspeakable is finding a way to understand it. Terrible and violent acts are difficult to explain and understand because they defy what it means to be human. They are inhuman. 

Some parts of our society have the privilege of living their daily lives free of violence and threats, while others wake with the knowledge that their Blackness makes them a target. It's not until something truly inhuman happens that the whole of society stops to take notice. The murder of George Floyd was such a moment, its ugliness captured on video, and this weekend the murder of Tyre Nichols has reminded us again of the constant threat of brutality that Black people face.

On January 7, 2023, Tyre Nichols was brutally beaten by a group of Memphis police officers for three minutes, dying in hospital on January 10. The video of this incident was released this weekend. Tyre was a father, a son and above all else, an innocent Black man deserving of the safety, liberty and freedom that many of us take for granted. We are shocked, appalled and saddened by this act of senseless police brutality and mob violence, resulting in the murder of a man whose only crime was going outside to watch a sunset. 

The coming days will be a hard period of reckoning where society has to once again confront what it has learned and where it has failed in its aspirations to be better. As an organization, we must reflect on why Toronto Community Housing created the Confronting Anti Black Racism strategy (PDF), and be clear eyed about what we need to do to make an impact for the communities we care for. Police brutality and anti-Black racism have no place in our society and we remain steadfast in our commitment to confronting them in our communities. Our leadership team will be looking to our CABR strategy, specifically the recommendations on divesting from police culture, to make sure that we honour our commitment to our staff and to the tenants who live in our communities. 

Jag Sharma, President and CEO 

Barry Thomas, Director, Centre for Advancing the Interests of Black People