Tyre Nichols’ Death Proves Law Enforcement Is Out of Control

My mom once told a story of my older brother when he was little. I don’t remember it so I must’ve been an infant/toddler. My mom had been pulled over for some traffic violations or something. I don’t know if the officer cited her or gave her a warning, but my brother was relieved. “Mom, I thought we were going to be arrested,” he said.

Some people might laugh. Other parents might understand why a young child would think that. We live in a society where we have turned police and law enforcement in general into pseudo-Gestapo world where people are taught to feel they are above the law as long as they wear a badge. Our entertainment industry hasn’t helped. Last year, Last Week Tonight With John Oliver ran an story on how law enforcement turn to Law and Order: SVU as inspiration. A friend of mine from college had a father who was a high-ranking official with an Atlanta-area police department. He said there’s a lot of influence from entertainment industry as well as other departments. People see Mel Gibson or Bruce Willis with Beretta 9mms and then they have to have Berettas, even though many departments didn’t carry anything over a .38 caliber revolver.

They got their Berettas and they got their Glocks. They got their Remington 12-gauge pump-action shotguns and they got their AR-15 rifles. They got their pepper spray and they got their Tasers. Of course, this comes at a price. Joe and Jane Taxpayer pay for it and sometimes the police departments got to instigate traffic stops they know are not legal. You used to get a warning. Now you get multiple citations. A tail light is out. You didn’t know. That’s too bad. You get cited with no tail light, reckless driving, and operating an unsafe motor vehicle. Someone has to pay for those Berettas.

On Jan,. 7, Tyre Nichols, 29, of Memphis, was stopped for an alleged reckless driving. They didn’t ask him nicely for his license and registration. They pulled him from his car and began to beat him. The body cam footage and street lamp footage shows it. Five officers, Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith, have all been charged with second-degree murder in connection with Nichols death who passed away on Jan. 10. His body and face mangled from the beating has been all over social media as well as the footage. All officers have been fired.

They were part of a now-disbanded unit called SCORPION (Street Crimes Operation to Restore Peace In Our Neighborhoods). For anyone who remembers the 1980s and 1990s, it’s sounds similar to the LAPD Rampart Division’s CRASH unit. They target low-income people in Los Angeles, most of them were from the predominant blacks and Latino communities. SCORPION and CRASH are part of what’s considered “hot spot policing.” This means the officers are put in places that are more likely to have more crime, i.e. neighborhoods with black and brown-skinned people. Yet more drugs are being sold and more date rapes and domestic abuses are occurring in affluent neighborhoods.

But there is a question of if Nichols was doing anything wrong to have been stopped in the first place. Even Memphis Police Chief Carelyn “C.J.” Davis said they’ve been reviewing footage and haven’t determinded Nichols was recklessly driving. Imagine what they had to go on when there was no footage – just an officer’s word against someone who has been arrested. It looks like they stopped Nichols just to stop him. In other parts of the country, law officers have said they can find something to charge you with. In other words, they have power and control and very little oversight. Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said it. In Federal Way, Wash., a police officer, Breanna Stratus, said the same thing in a viral video where she asserts her feeling of superiority.

It’s apparent we can’t deny the myths and stereotypes any longer that police in this country have a grudge against people, especially those of color and socioeconomic standing. Most are bullies or mean girls in high school who realize that at 18 when the caps are thrown in the air, they’ve lost most of their control. I used to see the same people at college trying to act a certain way in the dorms and classrooms, only to realize that most people are groaning or eye-rolling at their behavior. No one cares anymore.

Also, they don’t have the luxury of just being sent to the office or a teacher looking the other way. They’re adults now. Professors don’t put up with that shit the way a small-town high school teacher would. And anything they do to another student can get the campus police on them. Fighting doesn’t get you detention or in-school suspension. You can be expelled just like that or the housing department refuses to allow you to live on campus. And any time you are seen in a dormitory, you can be charged with criminal trepassing. I know it. I saw it happen to someone in the dorm I was in my first year.

So, at 19-20, people realize that their childish antics aren’t going to work. So many decided to leave college for a new path – law enforcement. To be honest, I would never want to be anywhere near the people I grew up who now work in law enforcement. Some people just don’t grow up. They carry grudges and behave the same for years. I equate it to the Stanford Prison Experiment. If you give someone more control over another, they’ll abuse it. Look at what’s happening in the workforce where supervisors, managers and employers behave in draconian and tyrannical manners.

So, the question may be why would five black officers brutally attack a black man? Easy, theres racism at work in law enforcement. The whole system has been based on racism. It goes back to the days of slavery where people were hired as runaway slave patrol. During The Civil War, they shot people for desertion, no questions asked. About 500 men in both the north and south were shot or hanged for desertion.

So, we have basically been a nation that based its law enforcment on shooting people for running away. Nichols ran. But he ran after being beaten down for what we see is no reason. Cops scream, “Stop resisting!” as if that makes it legal and authorized. But there is nothing legal about attacking someone who isn’t armed and isn’t a threat – unless they’re a threat to a person’s ego.

Raising black people to hate other black people has been part of America for centuries. You can see the behavior in Candace Owens, a conservative writer and pundit. You can see the behavior in Daniel Cameron, attorney general for Kentucky in how he handled the Breonna Taylor case. You can especially see it in Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and his behavior. It’s how missionaries go to other countries and and try to teach people to hate their own “savagery” of their elders.

The swiftness in how fast all five officers were terminated and charged has been remarkable compared to other cases in which it took months. Some would speculate this is because all officers were black and the thin blue line cares more about white officers. But anyone with common sense can see that what they all did was wrong and illegal. In addition to the murder charge, they are charged with aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconfuct and official oppression. The sheriff’s deputies who responded as well as the firefighters/paramedics have all been reprimanded but are still employed and no charges filed.

Thankfully, Memphis didn’t erupt into chaos the way it has in other areas following the murder of George Floyd. However, some people have noted the vandalism and destruction was actually caused by white people trying to make the protestors look bad. But there is a problem in this country that still needs to be addressed. It’s been almost 32 years since the March 3, 1991 incident where Rodney King was beaten by four LAPD officers during a traffic stop. And public opinion has changed in those decades as more people are questioning the law officers more rather than believing their PR reps.

Also, video is more accessible and it can spread through the web in minutes. This is why law officers don’t want to be filmed. But maybe they should go to work in a fishbowl. Other people do. There is a push now to change education where teachers are just seen as public servants. But cops are still seen as infallible – as long as they arrest the right people. But maybe their backward-ass Bubba mentalities need to be retired.

In 2022, a recorded 1,176 people were killed due to police violence. That’s roughly 100 people a month or at least three people a day. The Civil War officially lasted four years, one month and two weeks and only 500 people were killed for desertion. That’s 125 a year on average. Yet, by the middle of February 2022, this country had surpassed that average with the number of people killed by cops either in justifiable self-defense or questionable actions.

We have a problem in this country and I think the problem is that we’ve turned our law officers into nothing more than authoritized legal killers. Even RoboCop was more humane.

What do you think? Please comment.

Published by bobbyzane420

I'm an award winning journalist and photographer who covered dozens of homicides and even interviewed President Jimmy Carter on multiple occasions. A back injury in 2011 and other family medical emergencies sidelined my journalism career. But now, I'm doing my own thing, focusing on movies (one of my favorite topics), current events and politics (another favorite topic) and just anything I feel needs to be posted. Thank you for reading.

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