Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the ELCA, has issued a statement on the Jan. 10 death of Tyre Nichols. “As the nation watches another video exposing police violence against a Black man after a traffic stop, there will be great suffering and despair emerging from across the United States,” the statement read, in part. “In just over a week we have witnessed mass gun violence in California—twice—and the shooting of a protester at a future police training site in Atlanta. Each of these tragedies inspires grief, not only for the lives lost and forever altered but also for our loss of confidence in a system that continues to fail us, over and over.”
The statement continued: “It’s important to remember that images are powerful and can retraumatize communities. The anticipated video footage of 29-year-old Memphis resident Tyre Nichols being beaten promises to stir many emotions and reawaken the grief of tens of millions of Americans who have seen this in their own communities. It will feel personal for those who have witnessed this trauma inflicted upon their own families.
“As Americans, we must all face this problem. Together we must cry out, much as Rachael wept in loud lamentation, ‘How long, O Lord?'”