Providence vigil demands change, remembers Tyre Nichols
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Over 100 leaders, advocates, and community members gathered on the steps of the State House for a candlelight vigil in honor of Tyre Nichols.
Video of the police-involved beating and killing of the Memphis man was released Friday.
Advocates called for change in the Ocean State and beyond.
“What are we willing to do here today, how are we going to move forward, how are we going to protect our own kids,” protesters said.
Faith and minority leaders like Harrison Tuttle, executive director of Black Lives Matter Rhode Island PAC, reacted to the video of the brutal beating.
“We can’t allow ourselves to just be in this moment and a week later forget about it,” Tuttle said.
He added, “There needs to be accountability for police officers, there needs to be real reforms that are made to make sure we eradicate police brutality.”
A similar message was echoed by Jim Vincent, the immediate past president of the NAACP Providence Branch.
Vincent Called for the repeal of the state’s Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights — that protects officers and departments in Rhode Island.
“No chief in this state can suspend any officer for more than two days,” said Vincent. “You get a two-day unpaid suspension. A person can commit all kinds of heinous crimes, and all they can do is get a two-day unpaid suspension, and then they can get paid up to six months no matter what the charge is.”
He finished, “Teachers don’t have it, me and you don’t have that special category where we can only be suspended for two days regardless of what we do… We need to have police officers accountable like anybody else.”