Maya Wiley Demands Safety from Police Violence

Maya Wiley (’92), President and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, contributed an opinion to CNN spotlighting the scope of overpolicing of Black people and supporting measures that remove contact with police over low-level infractions (“The Deplorable Reason Memphis Police Stopped Tyre Nichols,” Feb. 2). “We police Blackness, too often, and real crime too seldom. . . . The federal government can use the carrot of grants to help cities create safe, alternative ways to address low level violations and the stick of requiring tracking and addressing discriminatory policing that results in Black harassment and harm. Putting an end to that Black harm would be a fitting tribute to the memory of Tyre Nichols.” Proclaiming a mandate for meaningful change, Maya stated, “[I]n every funeral like Tyre’s … each one adds the pounds of the lifeless body of our beloveds that we must carry on and cannot put down. We carry it, but how long can we have to respond to the demand … that we just comply, heads bowed, to police violating our right to be? When my godson had his feet under my Thanksgiving table and he gave thanks out loud for being alive at 19, that steals something that can’t be returned without making real the promise of transforming public safety in a way that recognizes that we, too, are the public.” (“You Cannot Stop Us From Proclaiming ‘I, Too, Am America,’The Nation, Feb. 3).