By Lujan Asturias (‘23)
At the beginning of March, the Amnesty Club held a silent protest against the death of Tyre Nichols. Tyre Nichols was another victim of police brutality and was beaten to death in Memphis.
The protest happened after the bell dismissed students at the end of the day, and was held in the Hands Hallway. The club stood silent and handed out informational flyers for their cause as students walked by. They hung posters and the Amnesty Club flag on the walls and windows as well.
According to the New York Times,, “[He] was beaten by Memphis police officers for roughly three minutes on the evening of Jan. 7, after he was stopped for what the police initially said was reckless driving.””. It ended with intense violence, and he ended up passing away three days later.
The officers were soon fired and charged with counts including second-degree murder. This case sparked many protests, like the Amnesty Club’s silent protest,against the intense and unnecessary violence police sometimes use against suspects, specifically black males. This murder shone a light on police brutality in the United States, and the Amnesty club, which focuses on addressing a variety of societal and political issues, wanted to bring attention to that. The Amnesty Club also wanted to bring light to the George Floyd Justice And Policing Act.
Co-president of the Amnesty Club, Senior Swathi Pulipati described the act as an act that “bans things like chokeholds, the intense beatings like the one that Tyre Nichols went through before he passed away, and those types of things.”
The act is seen as a solution for unnecessary deaths at the hands of police that easily could have been avoided
According to Congress.gov, “The bill enhances existing enforcement mechanisms to remedy violations by law enforcement. Among other things, it does the following:lowers the criminal intent standard—from willful to knowing or reckless—to convict a law enforcement officer for misconduct in a federal prosecution, limits qualified immunity as a defense to liability in a private civil action against a law enforcement officer, and grants administrative subpoena power to the Department of Justice (DOJ) in pattern-or-practice investigations.”
It also has strategies to avoid racial profiling and enforces training to specifically focus on racial prejudices. If passed, this bill can possibly be a solution to end or at least decrease the number of people that die every year from police brutality. To pass the bill, people must contact senators and ask them to vote for it.
The Amnesty Club’s goal for this event was to contribute to the goal of stopping police violence as much as possible. If the Amnesty Club continues to do things like this, members say it can impact society in a positive way.