Somerville-Joint Statement & Resources in Response to the Death of Tyre Nichols

We wish to express to Mr. Nichols’ family and loved ones our absolute sympathy, our profound grief, and our support of the call for transparent justice.

Officials have called the brutality of that fatal police traffic stop a shocking use of excessive force. We unite with our community and denounce the brutality that was suffered by Tyre Nichols. We know that words are not enough. We must be, and we remain committed to, continuing the hard work of seeking real and meaningful change. We will not be complacent while so many continue to lose their lives to reckless violence and systems of oppression.

Acts of police violence not only affect those involved but entire communities. Each of these incidents has caused profound grief, loss, trauma, and anger. It aggravates racial disparities, breeds mistrust, and causes disproportionate physical and mental stress to people of color. All too frequently, communities across the country are forced to continue processing unimaginable grief and trauma, and it is important that we know where to find supports and resources to help ourselves and one another as we navigate these feelings.

The accumulation of tragedies in recent weeks make it all the more important to take care of yourselves and check on others. Needing to talk to someone or seeking help is normal and OK. Please reach out to friends and family or consider contacting an anonymous, free, 24/7 support line to speak to a trained volunteer (call or text the Samaritans Helpline with just three numbers: 988). School-based support is also being offered directly to students and families by the Somerville Public Schools.

We’ve also included some links below for guidance on how to navigate traumatic events for yourselves and loved ones. We encourage everyone to please use these resources, and/or to reach out to your school counselors or to the City’s Office of Health and Human Services to access supports anytime you need them.

We also encourage you to transform your grief and anger into action for progress, and reflect upon ways in which we can highlight our humanity. The City of Somerville, the Department of Racial and Social Justice, and the Somerville Police Department, in partnership with the City Council, are currently engaged in multiple community-driven initiatives to help advance equity, transparency, accountability, and social justice. We are determined to achieve Public Safety for All in Somerville – a shared vision of community that extends justice to all, regardless of economic class, age, gender, race, ethnicity, or identity.

Resources are being invested, including opportunities for learning, dialogue, healing, and transformation. We ask you to join us with determination and solidarity in collectively enacting change.


Mayor Katjana Ballantyne, Interim Somerville Police Chief Charlie Femino, Director of Racial and Social Justice Denise Molina-Capers, Somerville Public Schools Interim Director of Equity and Excellence Caeli Gallitano

Resource Guides from Local Provider Riverside Community Care

How to Talk to Children About Traumatic Events
Reactions to Highly Stressful or Traumatic Events
Practicing Self-Care After Traumatic Events
Additional resource guides and videos from Riverside

Parent and Guardian Self-Care Resources

Resources to Support Talking to Kids About Race
Having ‘The Talk’: Expert Guidance on Preparing Kids for Police Interactions
Supporting Students, Staff, Families, and Communities Impacted by Violence
Assisting Parents/Caregivers in Coping with Collective Traumas
How Caregivers Can Foster Resilience
Supporting Children’s Mental Wellness

Mental Wellness & Well-Being and General Resources

Coping After a Traumatic Event
Self-Care Tips for Black People Who Are Struggling With This Very Painful Week
Black People Need Stronger White Allies – Here’s How You Can Be One
4 Self-Care Resources for Days When the World is Terrible
New York Times Op-ed by Roxanne Gay
Grief Sheet
Youth Mental Health Project
Massachusetts 24/7 Behavioral Health Helpline
Celebrating Black Joy as an Alternative Form of Resistance and Reclaiming of Humanity
We need more ‘trauma-free Blackness.’ Here’s a start – CNN Style

Learn About, Get Involved with the Work of the Department of Racial and Social Justice
Visit the RSJ webpages at
Take the Public Safety for All Survey (available in multiple languages)
Learn about and consider applying to join the Civilian Oversight Task Force at
Learn about and consider applying to join the Public Safety for All Task Force at

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