WASHINGTON, D.C. — Pennsylvania U.S. Senator John Fetterman on Wednesday released the following statement in honor of Black History Month:

“February marks the beginning of Black History Month, a celebration of the culture, contributions, and achievements of the Black community. Today is also a day of somber reflection, as we honor the life of Tyre Nichols, the 29-year-old Black man whose life ended violently at the hands of people who were sworn to protect and serve.

“As a country, we have more work to do. Today Black Americans are statistically more likely to have a violent encounter with police, receive harsher sentencing, and have shorter life expectancies than their white counterparts. These disparities are not new, but they require more than broken promises to fix—they require immediate action.

“We must commit to fixing a broken criminal legal system so that our country doesn’t have to pause in horror once again at yet another senseless tragedy. That starts with Congress finally passing the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, but that cannot be the end. And we must also commit to providing communities with the opportunities necessary to build lives with dignity where everyone can thrive.

“This Black History Month, as Pennsylvania’s new Senator, I proudly commit myself to the work of building a more just and fair nation.”