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Texas Civil Rights Project involved in Houston efforts to end traffic enforcement by armed police

HOUSTON – In response to the recently released video of Tyre Nichols dying at the hands of police in Memphis after being pulled over for a traffic stop, Christopher Rivera, Outreach Coordinator of the Criminal Injustice program at the Texas Civil Rights Project, issues the following statement:

“We mourn for Trye Nichols, a father, a photographer, a son, and a beloved member of his community. And we are exhausted with the false shock by politicians everytime another person is murdered for the crime of existing in a Black body. We are not shocked. We are outraged and will continue to push for real solutions and demand real action. Our communities deserve nothing less.

“Traffic stops do not reduce traffic fatalities but are the most common source of police interaction with the community. There are simple, straightforward actions that can be quickly taken to make our communities safer when it comes to traffic enforcement:

Deprioritizing non-safety-related traffic stops to make driving safer for Black and Brown people. In a letter sent to the Houston Mayor and City Council on July 6, 2022, TCRP asked the City of Houston to engage in a process to determine how to adopt policies that promote true safety and justice for all Houston motorists. Under the proposed changes, seven violations would be deprioritized, meaning only cited as secondary violations when a driver is stopped for primary public safety violations.

  • Vehicle not registered within sixty days of the observed infraction

  • Registration plate not clearly displayed, fastened, or visible

  • Single brake light, headlight, running light, etc., not illuminated

  • Minor obstructions

  • Bumper issues

  • Operation of vehicle without official certificate of inspection

  • Unlawful operation without evidence of emission inspection

“Tyre Nichols should not have had to lose his life because of a traffic stop. The only way to build safer communities is to fundamentally reimagine the meaning of public safety.”


About Texas Civil Rights Project

The Texas Civil Rights Project is boldly serving the movement for equality and justice in and out of the courts. We use our tools of litigation and legal advocacy to protect and advance the civil rights of everyone in Texas, and we partner with communities across the state to serve the rising movement for social justice. We undertake our work with a vision of a Texas in which all communities can thrive with dignity, justice and without fear.

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