Students protest in response to Tyre Nichols’ death

Cam'ron Hardy, News Editor

Students walked in protest of Tyre Nichols, a Black man who was beaten and killed by five members of the Memphis, Tenn. at a traffic stop, according to CNN. Daisha Mitchell, a junior health sciences major, said she organized the protest because she was enraged after seeing the body camera footage of police beating Nichols. (Rob Le Cates)

On Jan. 10, 2023, Tyre Nichols died three days after five Memphis Police Officers beat him to death. He was pulled from his car during a traffic stop and was pepper sprayed and tased.

After finding out about the death, individuals gathered outside of Andrews Hall until 4 p.m. and began their walk to Old Main.

Daisha Mitchell, a junior health science major, created a flyer promoting the peaceful protest after hearing about the death of Nichols. Mitchell said she created the posting knowing there are like minded individuals on Eastern’s campus.

“Like-minded people flock together,” Mitchell said. “When I sent out that flyer, I knew some people would want to protest with me.”

Mitchell said she hoped that people do not get negative feelings towards what she and other protesters were doing and more so look at it as constructive criticism. Mitchell understands that people take criticism different but wants them to look at it as a way to do better and wants police officers to just do better.

Lauryn VanDyke, a freshman early childhood education, was a protester alongside Mitchell after seeing the flyer.

After seeing the video of Nichols being beaten, VanDyke said it “sickened” her and after seeing the flyer, she decided to join the protest.

“It made me really mad, sad, and sick that this still is going on, and I hope that anyone that sees the video or hears about it, will care and hopefully it will change how the police react to some things,” VanDyke said.

“I hope [that police] will be less violent and stop treating Black people so terribly,” VanDyke said.

Victoria Leitch, a freshman digital media technology major, was another protester.

Leitch said more attention needs to be brought to Nichols passing and that killings like these are happening too often.

“I believe everyone should be contacting their local representative, getting the word out to not only their local precincts, but to higherups as well.” Leitch said.

Leitch hopes that police listen to what protesters and other people around the world have to say and take everyone’s voices into consideration.

Leitch said that she takes action outside of the protests as well.

“Honestly, social media is huge,” Leitch said. “Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and say how you feel about these situations on social media because that’s how everyone communicates nowadays.”

VanDyke said she uses her voice and expresses her opinions on social issues like these on social media, especially Facebook.

Mitchell is a member of NAACP, which she says has allowed her to give her the courage to start events like these.

Mitchell said she gains support from other organizations on campus and within the community to raise awareness and gain support for events like these.


Cam’ron Hardy can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].