Statement on death of Tyre Nichols from EMU Executive Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police, Matthew Lige

The deadly assault of Tyre Nichols at the hands of five Memphis police officers is appalling. The actions of the police officers are inexcusable and criminal in nature. 

Injustices anywhere can trigger those who have experienced or witnessed these acts in their communities. EMU commits itself to welcoming people from all cultures, experiences and backgrounds. No one feels they belong someplace if they cannot feel safe to walk the streets and sidewalks and be treated like a valued human being.

I want to reassure the EMU community that the EMU Department of Public Safety (DPS) does not condone this behavior and will not tolerate misconduct by any member of DPS.

EMU DPS continues to prioritize fair and equitable policing practices, on-going use-of-force training in the area of de-escalation, duty to intervene policies and procedures, and mental health response training through collaboration with the office of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and the Washtenaw County Community Mental Health crisis response team.

EMU DPS regularly trains our officers and reviews our policies and procedures to ensure unbiased enforcement of the law and the University's Code of Community Responsibility, and we work closely with the University's Public Safety Oversight Committee (PSOC) to thoroughly review any allegation of misconduct.

Police officers must be held to a high ethical standard and we cannot fail our communities where we observe injustice. The actions at the hands of law enforcement that we witnessed in Memphis, and too many other communities across this country, cannot continue.

Finally, I want to express my personal condolences to the family of Mr. Nichols. 


Chief Matthew Lige, Eastern Michigan University Department of Public Safety



January 30, 2023

Written by:
Official Statements

Media Contact:
Melissa Thrasher