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Mourning the loss of Tyre Nichols

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WSU System President Kirk Schulz released the following letter to the university community on Friday, Jan. 27, addressing the tragic death of Tyre Nichols earlier this month.

Dear WSU Community,

The loss of Tyre Nichols, the young Black man killed by police in Memphis earlier this month, is devastating. My heart breaks for the family and friends that knew him and for our country as we try to process this unthinkable tragedy.

In anticipation of the release of body cam footage from the Memphis Police Department later today, it bears repeating that the senseless violence that led to his death has historically been directed toward African Americans across our nation. The loss of Tyre reminds us of those that came before him: Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and countless others.

There is no room for this brutality in law enforcement or in our nation. As an institution, WSU is committed to creating a society where equity, respect, and justice are a reality for everyone. I believe we all have a part to play in realizing this vision, and we must hold ourselves and our systems accountable as we look to create real change.

Remember that hatred falters where compassion grows. I encourage you to seek out support from your community and lean on the people around you. Your campus leaders will be in touch with additional resources in the days ahead.

Kirk H. Schulz
System President
Washington State University

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