Dear Drexel Students and Colleagues,

Like all of you, we were sickened and horrified by yet another police killing of an unarmed Black man as 29-year-old Tyre Nichols was tased, pepper-sprayed, and fatally beaten by five Memphis Police Department officers within 250 feet of his home following a traffic stop.

As we join in grieving with Mr. Nichols’ friends and loved ones, we cannot help but note that he perished at the hands of police violence a week before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday in the city where he was assassinated — and during the 60th anniversary year of Dr. King’s famous “I Have a Dream Speech” where he proclaimed that we will never achieve true justice until Black people no longer suffer “the unspeakable horrors of police brutality.”

We realize that viewing the horrific taking of Tyre Nichols’ life has proved especially upsetting for anyone who has watched the video and traumatizing for many. Please do not hesitate to draw upon Drexel's support services. To schedule an appointment with a counselor, students can email; faculty, professional staff and graduate students can connect with a live SupportLinc representative by calling 1.888.881.5462.

We also recognize that you might choose to exercise your First Amendment rights to free speech and peaceful protest by joining potential future demonstrations sparked by the release of the video. If you do so, we hope you will consider following the health and safety tips provided by our Department of Public Safety. 

Tyre Nichols joins the exceedingly long list of unarmed Black people who died at the hands of excessive and unwarranted police force.

By calling out injustice, we also call out police brutality for what it is — the antithesis of good policing and the enemy of public safety. And we resolve to support the efforts of our Department of Public Safety to promote good, community-engaged policing within our beloved community. A lot of work lies ahead — and we are committed to continue doing it. 


John Fry

Helen Bowman
Executive Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Operating Officer

Melvin “Mel” Singleton Jr.
Vice President of Public Safety and Chief of Police 

Marla Gold, MD 
Chief Wellness Officer and Senior Vice Provost for Community Health

Subir Sahu
Senior Vice President for Student Success

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