Amidst the tragedy of Tyre Nichol's death, religious leaders took immediate action, expressing their grief and advocating for justice through various means.

The Church of God in Christ, a historically Black denomination based in Memphis, saw its Presiding Bishop, J. Drew Sheard speak out about the incident, describing the loss of the 29-year-old FedEx worker as "shocking."

In the wake of the video footage showing police officers brutalizing Nichol during a traffic stop, these religious leaders have shown their unwavering commitment to fighting for the rights and dignity of Black individuals in their community.

Presiding Bishop J. Drew Sheard on Police Brutality and Systemic Change in Response to Tyre Nichols' Death

The continuous cases of police brutality against Black individuals in the United States have sparked nationwide outrage and calls for systemic change. Despite ongoing protests and calls for reform, instances of excessive use of force by law enforcement continue to perpetuate a cycle of violence and mistrust between communities of color and the police.

In a statement released by COGIC Newsfeed, Presiding Bishop J. Drew Sheard of the Church of God in Christ expressed his deep sadness over the loss of another Black man at the hands of those meant to serve and protect. He conveyed his condolences and prayers to the victim's loved ones and recognized the anger felt by citizens in the wake of such a tragedy.

Despite commending the police department for their swift action in terminating the officers involved in the incident and filing appropriate charges, Sheard emphasized that a small number of officers' experiences of unjust targeting, humiliation, harm, and death cannot be ignored. He acknowledged the bravery and commitment of most police officers but stressed the need for systemic change to ensure all individuals are treated fairly and with dignity.

According to NPR, the city's fire department has joined the police department in taking action following the death of Tyre Nichols. Two EMTs and a lieutenant were terminated after an internal investigation.

The incident, which occurred on January 7, saw Nichols being pulled over on suspicion of reckless driving and later being beaten by police officers, leading to his death three days later in the hospital. In response, five officers involved were fired and charged with murder, while a sixth officer, Preston Hemphill, was relieved of duty, and a seventh was suspended.

The body camera footage from Hemphill showed the chaotic scene of the traffic stop and captured his use of a Taser on Nichols as he attempted to flee. Hemphill was heard making an inappropriate remark about Nichols, while the identity of the seventh suspended officer remains unknown. The five former officers, all Black, have been charged with several counts of serious crimes, while Hemphill, who is white, has been relieved of duty.

Also Read: Black Lives Matter, Ahmaud Arbery died to violent shooting in Georgia 

Outrage Over Police Brutality Against Black Individuals in the US Continues

As the calls for justice and accountability for instances of police brutality continue, yet another Black individual has become a victim of excessive use of force by law enforcement. A similar incident that occurred last January 3 involving Keenan Anderson, a 31-year-old father and high school teacher, has once again sparked outrage and grief in the community.

In an article in Christianity Daily, according to edited bodycam footage, Anderson was tasered twice by officers with a 50,000-volt charge, leading to his death in the hospital hours later. Despite the LAPD's justification of the incident, claiming that Anderson was running erratically and was the suspect in a hit-and-run incident, Patrisse Cullors, the co-founder of Black Lives Matter, argues that Anderson was asking for help but did not receive it.

The tragic death of Keenan Anderson has once again shed light on the systemic issues of police brutality and the urgent need for reform in the law enforcement system.

These incidents have sparked meaningful discussions about the need for systemic change in policing, including greater accountability and transparency and the importance of investing in communities to address root causes of crime and violence. The ongoing struggle for justice and equality for Black individuals is a reminder of the vital work that still needs to be done to ensure that every individual is treated fairly and with dignity.

Related Article: Keenan Anderson Tased to Death: Spiritual Activists in LA Gather to Demand Justice for Cousin of Black Lives Matter Co-Founder