On January 7th, Tyre Nichols was pulled over as part of a traffic stop. On January 8th, the Memphis Police Department stated it was due to reckless driving that Nichols had been pulled over.
However, instead of pulling over the 29-year-old and performing standard testing then arresting, five officers decided to tase, pepper spray, tackle, and beat Nichols until he was hospitalised.
Tyre Nichols died in hospital three days after the attack.
The murder of Nichols was captured on officers’ bodycam and released to the public yesterday (27/01).
The footage is horrific. With the officers encouraging each other to tase and hit the man, on top of using profane language, while Nichols screamed for mercy and begged for his mother.
According to Memphis Police Chief Davis, the footage was released later in the day to prevent civil unrest. Stating that officials had “decided it would be best to release the video later in the day, after schools are dismissed and people are home from work”.
New York’s mayor, Eric Adams, along with several other mayors, were given a warning ahead of the release of the footage. According to him, the White House forewarned them that the footage would “trigger pain and sadness in many of us. It will make us angry.”
In the footage, it was obvious that the officers were ready for a fight. They were on full blast when the incident started and still going by the end.
Since the attack, the five officers have been fired from their positions and arrested for second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression.
Is this enough?
It might sound like it. It might sound like justice has been served. But I beg to differ.
As I said previously, the officers were ready for a fight from the get-go. They knew what they were about to do, they knew what they were doing, and they know what they’ve done.
It may not appear to be premeditated in terms of months or weeks of foreknowledge, but I highly doubt that this wasn’t a deliberate attack.
Aside from this, there are incidents like this regularly in the USA, and the UK. Maybe not murders, but attacks, where officers are too ready to give someone a beating.
In 2020, we saw George Floyd beg for his life and heard Breonna Taylor shot in her own home. These were two of the most publicised police brutality and murder cases, but they weren’t the only victims.
This incident concretes in many minds that the justice system regularly does not provide justice, that the institute that is supposed to protect us is doing the opposite, and that officers are regularly power-hungry and drunk on it.
Officers are not the judge, jury, and executioner, but after decades of getting away with it – they feel like they are.
Police reform is just the start of what our society needs. The justice system and political system all need the same overhaul.
If you wish to see the video, I’ve linked it below. But understand that it is as horrendous as you can imagine.
This isn’t just a video displaying Police Brutality. This is a video where you will see the death of Tyre Nichols. A father-of-one, a delivery driver, someone with aspirations to be a photographer, a sufferer of Crohn’s disease who was 6’3 and only weighed 145 lbs, being tackled, beaten, and killed by five officers.
This isn’t an unfortunate event; this is a life being taken away. And if you’re not outraged by that, you’re likely part of the problem.
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