STROUDSBURG, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A vigil was held in the Poconos Monday night honoring the life of Tyre Nichols. A large crowd gathered to unite as a community and call for legislative change in the commonwealth.
29-year-old Tyre Nichols was beaten to death by Memphis Police Officers on January 7 following a traffic stop.
Many hope his untimely passing serves as a catalyst for change across the nation and right here at home.
More than 100 people gathered outside the Monroe County Courthouse Monday night in honor of Tyre Nichols.
The Monroe County Branch of the NAACP hosted a solemn vigil, giving community members the opportunity to mourn his death together.
“We’re here to talk as a community, we’re here to console one another, we’re here to listen to each other, we’re here to listen to possible solutions from the community,” said Christa Caceres, President of the Monroe County NAACP.
The vigil included speeches and personal testimonies. NAACP leaders are encouraging the public to demand change from their state legislators.
“We also are making a call to action that they contact their state legislators and demand that cases involving unarmed deaths of civilians be immediately transferred to the Attorney General’s Office and not need a referral from the local district attorney. We’re looking for transparency, we’re looking for full-throated investigations,” said Caceres.
Members of the NAACP’s religious affairs committee lead the crowd in prayer.
“We’re here to talk about, bring awareness to and stand up with those who are just reeling from what happened in Memphis to Tyre Nichols, and to show our support, to pray, to pray for change,” said Lynda Keefer, Co-Lead Pastor of the Stroudsburg Wesleyan Church.
Politicians and local law enforcement officials came out to rally in support of igniting change.
“I think it’s important that in cases specifically like we’re talking about tonight is that it’s not just one faction that’s gonna solve this issue. It’s the community coming together, it’s supporting each other, it’s all working together towards a common goal,” said Stroud Area Regional Police Department Chief Jennifer Lyon.
A sixth officer with the Memphis Police Department was “relieved of duty” for his role in the traffic stop that led to the beating death of Tyre Nichols.