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Tyre Nichols was killed by cops whose parents had warned them to be wary of cops

Chris Graham
tyre nichols
(© Phil Pasquini – Shutterstock)

It stands out, doesn’t it, that the cops who beat Tyre Nichols to death were all Black men?

The reason why that stands out from the videos released by the Memphis Police Department is, diversity in the ranks of police is something we assumed would cut down on cop-on-Black crime.

It’s OK to admit that when you heard that the PD was going to release the videos of the beating that led to Nichols’ death, you’d expected the cops to be snarling White guys.

The cops in the videos were snarling, alright.

In the first video, showing police first confronting Nichols during a traffic stop, one walks toward Nichols’ car with his gun drawn as another forces open the driver’s side door and wrestles Nichols out of the car.

Seems excessive for someone pulled over for alleged reckless driving.

Seriously, that can’t be standard protocol.

Nichols was thrown to the ground and ordered to put his hands behind his back – again, for alleged reckless driving – and after one of the cops deployed pepper spray, Nichols fled the scene.

The next three videos show us what happened when cops caught up to him.

His hands held behind his back, he is punched, kicked in the head, attacked with a baton, and eventually goes limp.

He’s then left sitting by a cop car, already dying, we now know, on the way to suffering cardiac arrest and kidney failure.

Minutes tick by; none of the officers, sworn to serve and protect, check on his status.

He’d been pulled over, again, for reckless driving.

Even if he had been driving recklessly, that’s a traffic offense.

Not a death penalty offense.

The Memphis PD is 58 percent Black, which is pretty diverse.

The cops who beat Tyre Nichols to death almost certainly came from a similar socioeconomic background as the young Black man they beat to death.

Their parents had warned them when they were kids to be wary of interactions with police.

You can bet that among the reasons they wanted to become cops was to be a part of changing that perception about cops.

And then they became cops.

And became the people their parents had warned them about.

Is there something to the police culture that changes the men and women who enter the ranks?

The punches, the kicks, in the video were shocking.

More shocking was the anger, the hate, the callous disregard for Tyre Nichols as a fellow human being.

You want to hope that this was an isolated incident, that these cops just went rogue.

But there were so many of them involved in the beating, and so many more on the scene just standing around.

Too many.

This wasn’t a couple of cops going rogue.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham, the king of "fringe media," is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].