The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) is deeply saddened over the death of Tyre Nichols, who was killed by five Memphis police officers. We stand with communities who have voiced their sorrow, anger, and frustration over his death. The use of force by police was markedly disproportionate and failed to show that they appreciated that Mr. Nichols’ life mattered.
His death is another tragic example highlighting how systemic racism in law enforcement can result in tragedy.
As we mourn, we are reminded of the fundamental importance of human rights and addressing systemic anti-Black racism in policing. Police must exercise human rights while enforcing the law. The absence of respect for human rights deepens inequalities and disparities, and even results in death. Human rights are the most impactful way to maintain our democracy.
There must be accountability and continuous efforts to reform culture, systems, policies, and practices which undermine the value of Black lives.
The OHRC remains committed to working with police and communities to ensure that Black people are not subjected to the disproportionate use of force in policing.