Baltimore demands justice for Tyre Nichols and end to police terror

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Ellie McCrow speaks at protest demanding justice for Tyre Nichols in Baltimore, Jan. 28.

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Towanda Jones, sister of police murder victim Tyrone West. SLL photos: Rasika Ruwanpathirana

On Jan. 29, a cold but sunny Saturday, organizations and individuals from across Baltimore city gathered at the corner of North and Charles streets to protest the brutal murder of Tyre Nichols at the hands of the Memphis Police Department. 

The protestors, numbered around 60, demanded justice for Tyre Nichols and the speedy conviction of his murderers. More broadly, the demonstration demanded justice for all victims of racist police terror, community control of the police, and the abolition of mass incarceration. 

Peoples Power Assembly and the Socialist Unity Party worked with community leaders like Rev. Annie Chambers, Marvin “Doc” Cheatham, and Towanda Jones to organize the emergency protest. 

All three gave tremendous speeches. Towanda Jones told the story of her brother, Tyrone West, who the police murdered in a very similar fashion to Tyre Nichols. These were both young Black men, both tragically and brutally beaten to death by cops. 

Jones demanded that no more suffer at the hands of racist policing: no more stories like Nichols or her brother. She raised a demand to open and investigate all local police killings where racist David Fowler was the medical examiner of record. 

Rev. Chambers and local trans activist Ellie McCrow raised the case of the 15-year-old squeegee worker who is being prosecuted for defending himself against a 48-year-old bat-swinging bigot. Both highlighted the need to fight for Black lives, as well as condemn racist police murders. 

Marvin “Doc” Cheatham highlighted the food desert crisis that deepens every day in Baltimore city. Doc again demanded that closing supermarkets be replaced and that the Black community be granted equal access to food. In reality, the deepening of food deserts is simply a form of apartheid. 

All the while, protestors chanted slogans such as “Jail killer cops now,” “Justice for Tyre Nichols! Say his name,” and, “No justice – no peace! No racist police!”

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