January 27, 2023

ACS Issues Statement In Response to Tyre Nichols' Deadly Beating

Contact: Nancy Rodriguez, 

Washington, DC — The American Constitution Society released the following statement in response to the public release of video showing the deadly police beating of Tyre Nichols.

“We at ACS are heartbroken by and condemn the brutal killing of Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black FedEx worker and father, at the hands of Memphis police officers,” said ACS President Russ Feingold. “The criminal charges filed against the five officers offer a step towards legal accountability, but they will not bring Nichols back to his family and friends. He should be alive today. Instead, his killing is the latest tragic reminder of the epidemic that is police brutality in this country—a country where so-called “routine traffic stops” too-often result in the deaths of Black people.

The sickening truth is that tragic episodes like this one will continue to occur until we reckon with the history of police oppression in this country and purge institutionalized racism from our nation’s laws, institutions, and practices, including in policing and the broader criminal legal system. ACS and our members will continue to support such efforts.”

Police profiling, brutality, and excessive force against Black people has a long and devastating history in the United States. Modern police departments in many parts of the country owe their origins to slave patrols, and despite Constitutional amendments and civil rights legislation intended to abolish slavery and guarantee the equal protection of the laws, Black Americans are still more likely than any other racial group to experience harassment, excessive force, and death at the hands of police.


The American Constitution Society is a 501(c)3 non-profit, non-partisan legal organization. Through a diverse nationwide network of progressive lawyers, law students, judges, scholars, advocates, and many others, our mission is to support and advocate for laws and legal systems that strengthen our democratic legitimacy, uphold the rule of law, and redress the founding failures of our Constitution and enduring inequities in our laws in pursuit of realized equality. For more information, visit us at www.acslaw.org or on Twitter @acslaw.