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Death of Tyre Nichols - January 30, 2023

To the EMU community:

Like you, we are outraged and saddened by the tragic events leading to Tyre Nichols's death. He was a young, talented individual with a promising future ahead of him. The actions of the police officers involved were reckless and have no place in our society that’s still grappling with the horrific deaths of Philando Castile, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, among others.

This horrific incident comes on the heels of the mass shooting involving Asian and Pacific Islander communities. We still haven’t had a chance to wrap our heads around these vicious hate crimes and share the grief of those who lost their loved ones.

We recognize our students, faculty and staff may be struggling to process the recent violent acts, video and the murder of Mr. Nichols. As a response to these events, the Chief Diversity Office will host a Community Wellness and Self-Care when Dealing with Traumatic News Events discussion from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 6, and from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 8,  in the Intersection room, across from Service EMU, in the Student Center.

As our community mourns, your emotional well-being is of the utmost importance. As a reminder, we have resources to help our campus community cope with these issues plaguing our society, contact CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services) for additional support.

Now is the time to lean on one another in sorrow but also to hope for a more lawful and fair future. Let us rely on our shared commitment to a safe, caring, and inclusive community.

Doris Fields, Ph.D.,
Interim Chief Diversity Officer
James Smith, Ph.D.,


Statement from EMU Executive Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police, Matthew Lige:

The deadly assault of Tyre Nichols at the hands of five Memphis police officers is appalling. The actions of the police officers are inexcusable and criminal in nature.

Injustices anywhere can trigger those who have experienced or witnessed these acts in their communities. EMU commits itself to welcoming people from all cultures, experiences and backgrounds. No one feels they belong someplace if they cannot feel safe to walk the streets and sidewalks and be treated like a valued human being.

I want to reassure the EMU community that the EMU Department of Public Safety (DPS) does not condone this behavior and will not tolerate misconduct by any member of DPS.

EMU DPS continues to prioritize fair and equitable policing practices, on-going use-of-force training in the area of de-escalation, duty to intervene policies and procedures, and mental health response training through collaboration with the office of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and the Washtenaw County Community Mental Health crisis response team.

EMU DPS regularly trains our officers and reviews our policies and procedures to ensure unbiased enforcement of the law and the University's Code of Community Responsibility, and we work closely with the University's Public Safety Oversight Committee (PSOC) to thoroughly review any allegation of misconduct.

Police officers must be held to a high ethical standard and we cannot fail our communities where we observe injustice. The actions at the hands of law enforcement that we witnessed in Memphis, and too many other communities across this country, cannot continue.

Finally, I want to express my personal condolences to the family of Mr. Nichols.

Chief Matthew Lige, Eastern Michigan University Department of Public Safety

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