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UC-AFT Statement on the Murder of Tyre Nichols


The release of video showing the murder of Tyre Nichols at the hands of Memphis police is the latest high-profile evidence of the continued deadly targeting of Black and brown people in our country.

As parents, siblings, and children ourselves, the leaders of UC-AFT want to lift up the memory of Tyre Nichols.

Tyre was a son.

Tyre was a father.

Tyre was a brother.

Tyre loved sunsets.

Tyre loved to skateboard, even after his family joked that he was too old to do so.

Tyre liked photography and took pictures whenever he could.

Tyre was a worker.

Tyre was a human being who deserved to live.

The UC-AFT condemns the brutality of the Memphis police and stands with the Nichols family, their local community, and those throughout our country calling for justice. We strive to lift up those working to dismantle racist institutions and the violent oppression of Black and brown people, while recognizing that the UC system and this union must do more to combat police violence and white supremacy at home.

We call on all UC-AFT members to do anti-racist work in our classrooms and libraries. We have shared this list in the past, but once again suggest the following actions for our members:

  • Join a protest, particularly those led by radical Black-led organizations. In the Bay Area, CURYJ, the Anti Police-Terror Project, ACCE, and the National Lawyers Guild are good places to look for information. In LA, Black Lives Matter and the Justice LA Coalition (and its member organizations) are good places to start.
  • Press UC leadership to address institutional racism more effectively and dedicate the considerable resources and privileges of our campuses to achieving political and economic justice. This includes de-militarizing or otherwise reducing the power of the UC police.
  • Demand that political leaders at the city, county, and state level match their expressions of empathy for the victims, survivors, and protesters with concrete actions that prioritize investment in Black, brown, and working-class communities rather than additional surveillance and policing. The People’s Budget in Los Angeles is one such project to support.
  • Hold elected officials accountable for the police forces whose budgets they control.
  • Donate to and join your local chapter of Black Lives Matter.
  • Read to understand racism and fight white supremacy.
  • Engage with the Anti-Racism Resources posted on the UC-AFT website.
  • Get involved by joining our UC-AFT Committee on Policing or our UC-AFT Anti-Racism Committee. Please email for more information at

In solidarity,

UC-AFT Executive Board and leaders