Social justice groups to demonstrate on International Day Against Police Brutality on March 15

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 9, 2023

SALISBURY — Women for Community Justice, along with the Salisbury-Rowan NAACP and Salisbury Indivisible, will hold a public demonstration on March 15 in downtown Salisbury to observe the International Day Against Police Brutality.


The social justice groups are coming together for the annual global observance to protest the beating and murder of Tyre Nichols in Memphis and to call on Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. The demonstration will be held from 5-6 p.m. in front of the Rowan County Administration Building, 130 W. Innes St. Women for Community Justice have obtained a permit from the city of Salisbury for the event.


“We invite people to join us in peaceful, public protest of police brutality and demand that Congress hold law enforcement accountable for unconstitutional and unethical conduct wherever it occurs,” said Mary Walker, a co-facilitator of Women for Community Justice, in a news release. “Police brutality is no longer in the shadows of law enforcement in this country. Salisbury and Rowan County are not immune to this infection.”


Nichols died after he was beaten by five Memphis police officers on Jan. 7. The officers, who were fired, have been charged with second-degree murder. Video shows the officers punching, kicking, and hitting Nichols with a baton during an arrest following an unwarranted traffic stop.


“Every police officer involved in Tyre Nichols’s beating and murder had not only the opportunity to de-escalate but the responsibility,” said Brian Pfaff, a co-lead for Salisbury Indivisible. “His death was entirely preventable. Tyre Nichols should be alive today, raising his son and photographing sunsets.”


The murder of Nichols has renewed calls for Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, a proposed federal law aimed at reforming law enforcement by banning chokeholds, requiring de-escalation training, creating a national registry of police misconduct complaints and more.


The act is named for George Floyd, who was tortured and murdered by Minneapolis police in May 2020, sparking a year of national protests in all 50 states calling for an end to police brutality against Black and brown communities and demanding accountability in every sector of law enforcement. A new provision in the bill named for Nichols would require law enforcement officers to act when they witness misconduct by fellow officers.


“We join with Tyre Nichols’s mother in calling for passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which would establish accountability and transparency for law enforcement at all levels,” said Gemale Black, president of the Salisbury-Rowan NAACP. “We have witnessed the tragic consequences of police brutality in the killings of Tyre Nichols, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, and countless others who have lost their lives to state-sponsored violence. As a nation, it is long past time that we reimagine public safety in our communities.”


Women for Community Justice, the Salisbury-Rowan NAACP and Salisbury Indivisible have previously worked together on successful social justice events and initiatives.


For more information about this event, contact Women for Community Justice at