ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — The death of Tyre Nichols is sparking conversation amongst the youngest in the Roanoke community.
The branch of the NAACP and Youth Council held a news conference in response to the incident.
“As a mother with black men, it’s devastating to know this is still happening in 2023,” said Lorena Wilson, a mother who lost her son and the Co-Advisor for the Youth Council.
Wilson spoke about what it feels like to never tell her son happy birthday again, or that she loves him. She recounted the empty feelings that are left inside a mother when a child is taken away from them too early.
Up in arms, were Roanoke City’s young women and men of Youth Council asking for change and sharing their condolences with the Nichols family.
“I come before you very mad, sad, confused, pissed off, irritated, and tired of how my black brother and sisters are being gunned down and beaten down at the hands of law enforcement,” Jayveon Tucker, Youth chapter president.
Other youths were concerned for their well-being and their loved ones.
“It is scary to know that person could have been me, or someone in my family, or one of my friends. So, today, my concern is that the police do only their job,” Olivia Davoll, Youth Council Vice President.
They talked about how the death of Tyre Nichols continues to rattle the community on top of their honest feelings about policing.
“I am sick and tired of police officers whose jobs are supposed to be to protect and serve their communities not doing their jobs — which is to safely arrest people or pull them over, etc. — but instead making themselves the judge, jury, and executioners,” Simone Bryant, Treasurer of the Youth Council.
In response to the youth, law enforcement took to the mic responding to Nichols’s death and promising protection and reform.
“That’s why we got training in place, especially when it comes down to the use of force. We make sure we don’t go against what we are trained,” said Antonio Hash, Roanoke City Sheriff.
Chief Roman was unable to make the meeting, as he is on duty in Richmond. However, another representative from Roanoke Police Department spoke on his behalf.
“We are all disgusted when someone takes an oath to serve their community betrays those they swore to protect,” said Jamey Bowdel.
Chapter President, Dr. Brenda Hale says it’s time to stop leaving holes in families.