Official Statement from Carlisle Mayor Shultz
On the afternoon of January 13, 2024, the lives of three men took a tragic turn that culminated in the loss of Nathaniel Liberator. His death marks an unfathomable tragedy, leaving his family and friends, and our community in mourning. I offer my most heartfelt condolences to his family and all who are suffering in the wake of this tragic event.
As a community, we recognize the inherent worth of Nathaniel’s humanity. He was a cherished brother, friend, and valued member of his community. Nathaniel's death serves as a stark reminder of life's fragility and the profound sorrow that reverberates through a community as the result of such loss.
We also acknowledge the humanity of the police officers involved. They are not merely uniformed figures but individuals burdened with the weight of enormous responsibility and committed to public safety. The events of that day, even with the determination by the District Attorney that our officers were justified in their actions, have left them and those who care for them to grapple with their own emotions and trauma as a result of this most unfortunate outcome. All of this is a weight no one–neither Nathaniel’s family, the officers and their families, nor our community–should ever have to bear.
In times like these, it is crucial for our community to be united by extending empathy and compassion toward one another, and to be intentional about rejecting divisive rhetoric. We must share in collective grief with Nathaniel's loved ones while also holding space for the officers and their families who have been deeply affected.
As we have learned about Nathaniel, his life experiences leading up to January 13, 2024, underscore our societal failure to prioritize mental health. The stigmas surrounding mental health have proven to be deadly. Investment in mental health programming and resources for members of our community of all ages must take center stage in decision-making processes at every level of our government in order to maintain its commitments to the public at large.
Furthermore, we must remain open to conversations about our criminal justice system and how industry standard policies and practices either complement or contradict the community we espouse to be, one that continuously works to improve and honors the dignity of every person with a commitment to keeping everyone, civilians and officers, safe. We must continually strive to foster public trust.
While words offer some solace, they cannot fully mend the wounds inflicted by such profound grief felt by Nathaniel’s family, our community, and our officers. Yet, through our shared humanity and commitment to understanding, we can begin the journey toward healing.
As we mourn Nathaniel Liberator's passing and confront the complexities of this tragedy, let us uphold the values of compassion, understanding, and unity that have always defined this Carlisle community. In doing so, we honor those who must bear the weight of this loss, and we strive toward a future where such losses are but a distant memory.