By Izayah Morgan
Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black male, was allegedly attacked and abused by five Black Memphis Police Department officers Jan. 7, following a traffic check. Unfortunately, he soon died after being admitted to the hospital in critical condition.
According to The New York Times, in the roughly 13 minutes before they radioed that Nichols was formally in arrest, officers shouted at least 71 demands, demonstrated in the analysis of the video evidence. Two locations - one close to Nichols’ car and the other where he had fled and would be brutally beaten - were where the orders were given. The directives were frequent, simultaneous, and in conflict with each command given before.
Nichols’ life was cut short because of police brutality.
However, after watching the body cam footage taken on that evening in Memphis, Tennessee in order to write this article with a full perspective, I have come to realize this is the most brutal and easily the most gruesome video I have seen in my 19 years of life.
This felt as if it was not just a routine stop for a traffic violation, but to put on a show for one another. A public lynching and humiliation of this man. When Nichols was assaulted and treated with such blatant disdain and racism, police brutality was once more exposed to the public.
"He has a tattoo of my name on his arm," his mother stated. "My son loved me to death, and I love him to death” - these words from a hurt mother whose son died at the hands of police brutality.
It is ridiculous that police brutality and abuses of power from the police are allowed to grow and prosper.
African Americans for decades were victims of police brutality - whether it was attack dogs, water hoses, political disruption from within, public lynchings, assassination attempts, etc.
In Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s March on Washington he stated, “We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality.”
The right to be free from discrimination, the right to liberty and security, and the right to equal protection are fundamental in the United States.
These can be infringed upon by the use of unlawful force by law enforcement. We as Americans should not have to fear the people and system that should be protecting us from those very things!
Police brutality is a big problem in the United States that has been happening for decades, for reasons including inadequate institutionalized training, lack of accountability and prosecution, racial profiling, and corrupt law enforcement.
However, I want everyone to know the blessing that Nichols was on his family, friends, and community. He had passions for both skateboarding since he was a kid and doing photography. Most importantly however, he was a father of a 4-year-old. He was an amazing father and it sickens me how a father can be taken from their child at such a young age.
Remember his name Tyre Nichols!