A Statement in Response to the Footage of the Horrific Murder of Tyre Nichols
from Rev. Adriene Thorne

Greetings church,

In a short while, you will be able to view devastatingly violent footage showing the horrific murder of Tyre Nichols. Do not watch the video. Despite the fact that the Memphis Police Department says that releasing bodycam footage supports transparency, viewing these videos and devouring Mr. Nichols’ pain disregards his humanity. In watching these films, his murder becomes something we consume. His pain something we cannibalize. Let’s not do that. Let’s not traumatize ourselves more. Rather, let’s center our care so that, in the words of Rev. Dr. Katie Geneva Canon, we can live to serve another day. Rather than triggering ourselves, let’s choose to center ourselves for the work of love and justice we must do.

Historically, the pain of Black bodies has been feasted upon and sold for profit. From lynching postcards to the recent disregard of both Megan and Meghan – Megan Thee Stallion and Meghan the Duchess of Sussex. These images and the disregard of particular bodies serves to desensitize some of us and to keep others of us in our place. Pain is profitable. Do not watch the video.

Instead, let’s choose honor, Tyre Nichols, the recent victims of Asian violence in Monterey Park, California, and the next bodies of culture that will be harmed. Because white supremacy is in our systems and structures, more of God’s children will be harmed.  Let’s honor our siblings in these ways:

  • WATCH: This video of Tyre Nichols living his best life – skating, his lifelong passion.
  • READ: My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies. Especially focus on the chapters on police bodies to understand how Black police officers could murder Mr. Nichols.
  • SUPPORT: Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay with your financial resources
  • JOIN: Bystander Intervention Training on Friday, February 24th at 2 pm EST. Register here for this one hour training.

Church, please know that Riverside will share resources to support your care, healing, training, and advocacy when trauma erupts in the world. Return to these resources as needed and know that your faith community is walking this challenging path alongside you.

You are loved,

Rev. Adriene Thorne
Senior Minister