This case has not yet been tried, so we can’t yet say that the five police officers indicted for second-degree murder of Tyre Nichols, 29, were guilty. But if you look at the video linked to the NYT article below, it sure looks as if they were whaling on him without any valid cause. In the video (click screenshot below), Nichols was stopped for reckless driving, forced to the ground by the cops, and then cried that he didn’t do anything and just wanted to go home. That was enough to make the cops pepper-spray him in the face repeatedly.
Nichols manages to get up and start running toward home, at which point they taze him, which doesn’t seem to be improper procedure.
He’s chased, taken down again, and then gets hit and repeatedly pepper-sprayed as he calls “Mom!” (This is heartbreaking.) Then he’s beaten with a baton, punched and kicked—all without appearing to offer any resistance. Even when he’s forced to stand up by the cops, and probably unconscious, they still keep beating him. Nichols is then dragged to the car and the cops stand around, not doing anything to assist Nichols until an ambulance arrives.
Nichols died three days later in the hospital. The autopsy said he died from “extensive bleeding caused by a severe beating.” That’s no surprise given the video.
If you want to watch, and do so only if you can tolerate extreme brutality, I recommend the NYT video (be sure to turn the sound on), as it shows the entire event from Nichols being forced out of the car to being beaten and kicked until the ambulance arrives, but I’ve put the NBC News report on the event, which shows the apparent police brutality, at the bottom.
The video was released last night, and there have been demonstrations, but they were peaceful, as Nichols’s family requested.
To me it sure looks like manslaughter, and there is no obvious reason save police anger and desire for revenge that warrants such brutal treatment. Nichols put up no resistance except, before the beaten, when he broke free and tried to run home. How a police officer can beat, kick, and pepper-spray someone who gave up and is calling for his mom is beyond belief—and it’s the police, not a personal altercation.
The indictment seems to be n the mark, and it’s a good thing there was a “skycam” nearby and the bodycams were turned on. Who knows what the cops might have made up had this not been the case? My heart goes out to Nichols’s family—especially his mom, for whom he called as he was beaten within an inch of his life. They had to watch their son’s slaughter before the video was release to the public yesteeray.
The NYT article below has more details, but you can read them for yourself. It’s unspeakably sad.
Here are details from the NYT if you can’t bear to watch:
Mr. Nichols was stopped on the evening of Jan. 7 in the southeastern corner of the city. Officers forced him out of his car and wrestled him to the ground, according to the videos. He dropped to the ground and laid on his side, imploring the officers to stop and saying, “I’m just trying to get home,” as they held down different parts of his body.
Though he appeared to show no resistance, the police threatened to hurt him further and continued to order him to get on the ground, apparently wanting him to roll onto his stomach. About two minutes into the encounter, an officer directed pepper spray at his face. At that point, Mr. Nichols got up from the ground and ran from the officers, one of whom fired a stun gun at him.
About eight minutes later, officers caught up with him again in a residential area near his family’s home. After tackling him, they beat him severely, as Mr. Nichols screamed in agony.
A body-worn camera and a surveillance camera captured police officers continuing their assault on Mr. Nichols, with one kicking him so hard in the face that the officer nearly fell down. Throughout the beating, which lasted about three minutes, Mr. Nichols did not appear to ever strike back. Several times, he moved his hands to cover his face, seeming to cower from the officers’ blows.
An independent autopsy commissioned by his family found that Mr. Nichols “suffered extensive bleeding caused by a severe beating,” according to preliminary findings released this week.
The video below (it’s here as well) shows the bit where Nichols is assaulted, and it’s narrated by the NBC broadcasters and analyzed after a few minutes of video. Click on the “Watch on YouTube” line.
55 thoughts on “The brutal police beating of Tyre Nichols”
But, wait, there’s more! After murdering the citizen, the cops stood around and joked and laughed about it.
It wasn’t just one “bad apple” psychopath who instigated this, it was all five of them. Five to one and boy, oh, boy were they having fun.
What will be whitewashed we all know is that the entire police department is rotten from root to twig, a purposeful culture of brutality and inhumanity. Attitude reflects leadership and psychopaths don’t grow on trees. Until the captains, supervisors and chief are shown the door, nothing will change.
I think it is better not to accept a prosecution allegation of murder as a proven fact — “After murdering the citizen . . .” This could suggest excessive haste in assuming the worst about black police officers. You don’t know what was in their minds when they did what they did. The prosecution has to prove that they wanted to kill him, yet did not shoot him to guarantee the result….or that they applied violence with extreme recklessness as to the possibility that it might kill him. Maybe they did, maybe they didn’t. Maybe the best the prosecution can get will be a manslaughter plea-bargain or conviction.
That’s bad, of course, but murder requires a state of mind that it is uncharitable to apply rashly to police officers.
I’ll stand by “murdering the citizen.” Nichols was a citizen, he was handcuffed, tazed, pepper sprayed, beaten but that wasn’t enough. They, the murdering cops, hauled Nichols to his feet and beat him some more. I’m not going to cut these psychopaths a micron of slack.
True, what happens in court is legal beagle stuff, but I believe what I saw with my own eyes and race had nothing to do with. The psychopaths enjoyed beating a handcuffed, helpless citizen to death. But, that’s what you get when you create a culture of inhumanity.
Well, there’s always lynching if the legal beagle stuff doesn’t give them what you believe they deserve.
So you would be happy if they get off on a technicality? Legal beagle rules?
Since you ask, Yes. That’s the law that we must all live under. You want to lynch them, it’s on you.
You are being extremely kind to demonstrable vicious psychopaths. I stood up up for the cops a few comments sections ago but things like this severely chills my resolve regarding cops. The evidence is clear. Not murderous perhaps but definitely torture.
It can not be the case that these types and attitudes exist in a vacuum where a few bad apples sneak through. It must be systematic and procedural to hire train and tune such savage mentalities and let them, loose.
Let’s not forget all the other enabling first responders.
And, police and prosecutors all over America have arrested and charged people with ‘murder’ for far less obvious, hmm, murder. And killed a few in the process.
Such true words you speak. It sickens me when I see that poor lad begging for his life whilst the cops AND medics just stand around doing nothing (cops also finding it funny!). After seeing it I can fully understand why his mom can’t watch it. She best not watch it because it will traumatise her for life. I don’t know him but its affected me and makes me very sad and tearful. He deserved respect, not a brutal beating and murder. Those cops must pay the price for this sick act. If they are exonerated then hell will break loose and riots will kick off. There’s only 1 result which is 25 years each jail time and that’s the minimum sentence.
I’m not sure what you mean by “he deserved respect”. If you mean he deserved to be treated as a human being under arrest for reckless driving, and wouldn’t get out of the car and ran away (even though the last might have been caused by the brutality)–i.e., treated according to proper protocol, I agree 100%. But of course he was a suspect. I’d prefer “civility” rather than “respect”.
The last I read there was no actual evidence supporting the reckless driving assertion.
So, somewhere between observing this act of reckless driving and the arrest attempt, one (or more) of the cops turned their body-cam on?
Which returns to the long-standing question of why these cameras have on-off switches at all. The officer certainly doesn’t need one.
And the other first responders who must be questioned. I have wondered for many years about those that clean up the cops mess.
I’m surprized it made the New York Times, after all, as we’ve heard time and again since 2020, Black Lives (only) Matter (when whites kill them). The cops in this case are Black, therefore this isn’t news ‘fit to print’…
We haven’t learned a damned thing since Rodney King
Well, we’ve learned something; we have body cams now.
I would like to respect cops and believe they are all good, but I can’t escape the feeling that a lot of them became cops because they are bullies. A badge and a gun can only make that worse. On top of that is the pressure of having to deal, as your job, with the worst people. I’ve thought for years that being a police officer should be a short-term career. A friend explained to me that in the Navy you have to pass qualification exams and physicals and ultimately get promoted, or you are separated from the service. That seems like a model that could work here. Police are absolutely needed, but there are so many issues with policing and the “protect our own” culture.
Who would want to police Memphis other than the worst of the worst? If you separated them from the police service because of promotability, could you replace them?
I’m not going to watch the video because my opinion about these five individuals doesn’t matter — but in response to Azrael above, you have learned another thing since Rodney King: black cops (a few at least) can be as thuggish as white ones when their blood is up and they outnumber a victim they take a visceral dislike to. Remember, they knew their actions were being recorded, by their own cameras!
A larger lesson since Rodney King is that making the police department “look” more like the dangerous class it polices doesn’t eliminate arbitrary violence against that class. Not that this was likely a deliberate choice by the Memphis police department, given the realities. But if it had been, how scary is that? What if some higher-ups had, counterfactual to my assumptions, made a conscious decision a few years ago to hire black applicants over psychologically better qualified whites in order to increase the “diversity” — i.e., blackness — of the force? After all, this is what DEI tells us we must do everywhere. Wouldn’t you like to see that possibility investigated in the New York Times?
Rodney King actually contributed to his own predicament much more than this incident. King himself said so. The video only caught the latter part after significant resistance.
It is an interesting what if you raise but I don’t think police forces ever bought the mostly fictional notion that there was significantly more violence visited on poc over whites.
I flipped on Fox News for a while last night (as is my wont whenever cruising the cable news networks) and heard Tucker Carlson say that there were “riots” across the the nation last night following the release of the Tyre Nichols video.
Then again, when sued for defamation over the content of Tucker Carlson’s show — reportedly, the top-rated cable-news program — Fox defended the lawsuit by saying that Carlson is a mere “entertainer,” whose commentary cannot be taken seriously by reasonable viewers.
In the spirit of fairness, it should be noted that the same argument was used first by Rachel Maddow:
MSNBC’s top-rated host Rachel Maddow devoted a segment in 2019 to accusing the right-wing cable outlet One America News (OAN) of being a paid propaganda outlet for the Kremlin. Discussing a Daily Beast article which noted that one OAN reporter was a “Russian national” who was simultaneously writing copy for the Russian-owned outlet Sputnik on a freelance contract, Maddow escalated the allegation greatly into a broad claim about OAN’s real identity and purpose: “in this case,” she announced, “the most obsequiously pro-Trump right wing news outlet in America really literally is paid Russian propaganda.”
In response, OAN sued Maddow, MSNBC, and its parent corporation Comcast, Inc. for defamation, alleging that it was demonstrably false that the network, in Maddow’s words, “literally is paid Russian propaganda.” In an oddly overlooked ruling, an Obama-appointed federal judge, Cynthia Bashant, dismissed the lawsuit on the ground that even Maddow’s own audience understands that her show consists of exaggeration, hyperbole, and pure opinion, and therefore would not assume that such outlandish accusations are factually true even when she uses the language of certainty and truth when presenting them (“literally is paid Russian propaganda”).
Withholding my opinion on precisely what happened, as you stated the trial is yet to come. As someone originally from the greater Memphis area I feel a need to say it’s profoundly sad that violent crimes are the only way that city ever seems to reach national news.
I don’t understand why the cops were so aggressive at the beginning (taking him out of the car). Afterwards it is obvious that the cops are angry because he flew, because he resisted a little and got them worked up. The one who took pepper spray from his colleague obviously wants to make the victim pay for it and uses his baton for this. They want to take revenge, how does this relate to law enforcement beats me.
Then when they are in a circle they rehearse their story (I understand from the Chief of Police’s speech that other colleagues helped them with that) about reckless driving and reaching for gun and whatnot. Sickening.
They are of course presumed innocent. The deceased too, but he did not get his time in court.
It looks like a fairly obvious case of excessive force to me. I am sure details will emerge that clarify the situation. Until then, I am just going to stick with “it looks like”.
Memphis has become a very dangerous place. The overall rates of violent crime is 25 per 1000, compared to Chicago at 8.7/1000. And it is not a large city, so one is never all that far from the worst of it.
I cannot imagine what it must be like to be a first responder in such a place. I do know what it is like in a combat zone, and that it is no simple thing to switch off the mentality that keeps you alive there.
Police initially tried to stop Mr. Nichols for driving erratically. Instead of stopping, he swerved at the cops (according to them) and drove away.
After four minutes, he stopped at a red light. Two officers that were following him got out and confronted him there.
They got him out of the car, onto the ground and tried to handcuff him. He fought, and at least one of the officers used pepper spray. During the fight, both officers were sprayed in the face, and Mr. Nichols got free and ran. The initial two officers gave up the chase, but called for backup.
Seven minutes after that encounter, the backup officers spot and begin chasing Nichols. The catch him, and the beating began. At some point, they had him under control, and had the means to handcuff and transport him. It appears they chose to continue beating him instead.
All evidence so far indicates that his death was the result of an unnecessary and particularly violent beating by police. Even so, there are several points in the timeline where Mr. Nichols could have prevented the eventual outcome.
If you are driving, and police attempt to stop you, pulling over as soon as you can, remaining polite, and keeping your hands in sight is always going to be safer than running from and fighting with the cops.
Why did they have to follow and stop him at all, isn’t it enough to note the licence plate?
Do you just note licence plates of reckless drivers who might be drunk or high, Ruth? Do you not stop such drivers? I hope you do.
Rule #1 for concocting an explanation for some evidence against you is to make the story credible.
Elements ,  and  of the concoction are in contradiction with each other. Have these people never heard of Occam’s razor?
, , and  don’t contradict one another at all. If you think they do, please explain how it’s impossible for someone at time t1–t5 to be driving erratically; then from time t6–t10 to refuse to stop for police and instead to swerve at them; then from t11–t15 to pull up to and stop at a red light. There’s no contradiction there — and my fictional time markers approximately describe what ,  and  imply about the chronology of the events.
The police are justified in pulling over anyone who’s driving like a drunk — whether the person is drunk or not, even whether the person is driving that way intentionally or not. Tyre not only indisputably resisted arrest with his body; he also, if  and  are true, resisted being pulled over in his car.
A correct application of Occam’s razor here, if ,  and  are true, is that the police observed his erratic driving and attempted to pull him over; he did not pull over; the police escalated by pursuing him; and then he stopped at a red light at which point they attempted to arrested him, with their guns drawn. This is the more simple explanation than the theory that Tyre did absolutely nothing to warrant being pulled over, that the police intentionally wanted to kill him, and that to cover their tracks they’re concocting all of this, etc.
So what you are getting at is quite mysterious, because it is certainly nothing rational.
Really brutal – justice will be done, but that doesn’t help Tyre Nichols, of course.
He was resisting arrest the entire time. It’s clear. When you are under arrest, not putting your hands behind your back to be cuffed is resisting arrest. And that is what he refused to do. If you don’t want to play by these rules, you have one option: move to a country without a police force. Even if the police are in the wrong, you never resist arrest. People don’t understand the full depth of this principle. The police will always treat any resisting of arrest whatsoever as escalation, and will escalate in turn. When you are being arrested, you submit — to everything; and if you are wrongfully arrested, you later sue. Those are the only two options citizens have when they live in a modern nation-state* with a police force with the legal power to arrest. You cannot calmly reason your way out of being arrested. Once you are in a situation where you are being arrested, your power to de-escalate is gone. This principle ought to be taught, repeatedly, to everyone, because it is clearly not understood. And yet it is elementary.
* I’m discussing a legal democratic nation-state, not a fascist state. So don’t bring up the childish counterexample of resisting arrest by Nazis.
I don’t recall hearing anyone say he was under arrest.
It looked to me as the cops were on the hunt when they violently dragged him out of the car. Then they are yelling at him to get on the ground, when he is on the ground. The initial beating was a flurry, how the heck does anyone process that? Some people instinctively resist, especially when they are being assaulted out of nowhere, for no apparent reason. It appears to me that the victim, Tyre, doesn’t understand what the hell is going on or why.
I’m not sure how I would react either.
I get your point, which is “when the law is on you, do what they tell you and do not resist,” which is sound advice especially in this day and age, but his instinct was to flee. I can understand that too.
Does not help at all when the cops are yelling out conflicting commands while they are beating the crap out of him.
The rest of the following video was revenge by the police. Revenge for making them have to run him down. Revenge for the asshole cops spraying each other with pepper spray. Revenge, because how fucking dare this punk resist at all.
There ought be no place in our society for police like this. No police force should harbor men of this mindset. Weed them out. Put them to digging ditches and pumping septic tanks instead.
“I don’t recall hearing anyone say he was under arrest.”
Perhaps you know the law better than I do. But I don’t think the police need to inform a truly reckless driver that he is under arrest before they can validly yank him from his car and possibly save lives. I think the belief that they always have to underestimates the complexity of these situations, and the second-by-second instinctual moves the police must often make to try to avert disaster. It’s a grey area, depending on each specific context.
“It looked to me as the cops were on the hunt when they violently dragged him out of the car. Then they are yelling at him to get on the ground, when he is on the ground. The initial beating was a flurry, how the heck does anyone process that? Some people instinctively resist, especially when they are being assaulted out of nowhere, for no apparent reason. It appears to me that the victim, Tyre, doesn’t understand what the hell is going on or why.”
Let’s assume Tyre was recklessly driving, or at least did something to warrant being yanked out of his car and arrested. (Maybe none of this police behavior was warranted from the start, but let’s just assume it was warranted — statistically, after all, it is rare for the police to pull someone out of his car like that and attempt a hasty arrest for no or little reason.) Under that assumption, what I see when I watch the video is the following: a police officer aggressively yanks him from the car and attempts to stabilize the situation by putting him in cuffs — and yet not once does he simply do what they say; he is always resisting: trying to reason with them (he says “Stop” multiple times in a calm voice), refusing to put his hands behind his back, staying rigid. This is precisely what it means to resist arrest and thereby escalate the situation.
“I’m not sure how I would react either.”
Well, I myself surely do know what I would do, because I don’t have a death wish. Some people simply cannot take this principle to heart and think Higher Reason or Justice or whatever justifies their breaking it. You are never justified in breaking it; that is the whole point of the principle.
“Does not help at all when the cops are yelling out conflicting commands while they are beating the crap out of him.”
Right. And that should be held against them in their trial. But I don’t know whether they were doing this — I watched the video only to see whether he was resisting; and, indeed, he seems to resist up to just before they are able to handcuff him. Just before they handcuff him is when their actions become problematic: they hit him in the head several times while holding his arms stretched out behind him. Are the police allowed to do this if he was forcing his arms apart and still resisting? I doubt it. And so they should be charged with using excessive force and manslaughter for those blows. But after they handcuff him, they stop struggling with him. Why? Because the handcuffs stabilize the situation; this was the very stabilization they tried to get before he ran off. They weren’t trying to kill him.
“The rest of the following video was revenge by the police. Revenge for making them have to run him down. Revenge for the asshole cops spraying each other with pepper spray. Revenge, because how fucking dare this punk resist at all.”
This isn’t, in my opinion, correct thinking about the situation and police psychology. It’s never just or mostly “revenge” for the police to hunt down a suspect who has resisted arrest and then run off. That is quite literally just proper policing . . . You don’t simply give up on a suspect because he has resisted and fled. In fact, if the cops are proper Bayesians, they will update their probability on the suspect’s danger to himself and to others once he resists arrest and flees. The only time revenge properly comes into this case is when, as I said, they have his arms stretched out behind him, and he’s seemingly immobilized, and yet they still strike him several times in the head. That moment is probably what the court case will hinge on, if the police were warranted in trying to arrest him in the first place.
“There ought be no place in our society for police like this. No police force should harbor men of this mindset.”
I doubt whether these men are abnormal psychologically — despite preposterous claims floating around that they are all, every last one of them, psychopaths. Which is statistically implausible. Such a claim is an abuse of language. The police here seemed to genuinely think they were doing society a benefit by stopping and arresting Tyre, and when that first attempt at arrest failed, at chasing and arresting him. And, really, even revenge as a motivating factor isn’t necessarily bad: I’m sure revenge is a frequent, helpful motivation for many police officers who use force appropriately.
Only thing I will assume here is, these cops went far beyond anything that could or should be called normal.
There is no excuse, no reason, no assumption, that should have led to the beating, and death, of Tyre.
Whatever reasoning you are looking for here is on you. I’ll not defend it.
The cops were out of line. No matter what I might not know. Especially when you consider another case where a mass shooter was taken out to lunch by the cops that picked him up.
No matter what, this one was mishandled from the get go. I can see no excuse for these men’s actions whatsoever.
It’s precisely this kind of emotionality that gets people killed, because, when being arrested, they appeal to Higher Reason (“Stop,” as Tyre said), Justice, or whatever and think their resistance is warranted — thereby escalating the situation. Of course, if you simply assert axiomatically that “[t]here is no excuse, no reason, no assumption, that should have led to the beating, and death, of Tyre,” then you will automatically be right, because you have made your position right by definition. But that’s not thinking; that’s dogmatism.
There are plenty of possible scenarios that would have justified Tyre not only being escalated on, but being killed immediately: for example, if he had brandished a gun and fired a few shots while resisting. The same goes for Dylann Roof; had he fire at police while resisting arrest, the police would have been warranted in shooting him dead. That’s how policing works precisely when its working properly.
“Especially when you consider another case where a mass shooter was taken out to lunch by the cops that picked him up.”
This is false: the cops didn’t take Roof out to lunch; they lacked the ability in his holding facility to provide him food — as the law requires. So they sent for a burger while he was imprisoned (see https://www.snopes.com/news/2015/06/22/dylann-roof-burger-king/). But the law does not require that police not escalate when a suspect resists arrest: for the law to be enforceable, the police must treat any resisting of arrest as escalation, and escalate in turn.
It’s really quite simple. Tyre isn’t an exception. You aren’t an exception. No one is. If you resist arrest, you will be justifiably escalated on; and, accordingly, the probability that you will be killed will increase. That probability increases the longer you resist.
I suggest one could move to a more civilized country with a police force that doesn’t hire psychopaths that can’t control their tempers and that do enjoy hurting people. There are many such countries believe it or not. Thankfully I am in one.
Several police officers don’t constitute a valid sample of the American police population. And the idea that these officers are all psychopaths is convenient rhetorically; but it’s an abuse of language. My larger point, in any case, was that even in your greatly civilized country — in any country whatsoever that has a police force with the power to legally arrest — you will be escalated on if you resist arrest. I don’t know where you live, but I still know that your police force wouldn’t simply let a man talk or worm his way out of being arrested after, say, assaulting a woman publicly and then resisting arrest. He would be dominated until put under control. The principle I mentioned is inescapable. It’s practically mathematical.
I would argue that a more complete concept of civilization is one in which the citizenry understands that it must submit to arrest in all circumstances. Resisting must be unthinkable to a rational person, a notion that must be ingrained in young people, through “civics” if you like. Even if it’s just at the level of, “Always submit, son, ‘cuz if you don’t the racist cops will murder you.” If the citizens think that resisting arrest is ever a rational choice, they haven’t been civilized. This is sad because in those circumstances the police may end up injuring or killing them and then good cops become demoralized if they are punished for doing so.
In accounts of people resisting arrest here in civilized Canada, alcohol and drugs are often a factor. Methamphetamine and fentanyl, often taken together with prodigious amounts of liquor, can make you immune to tazing. Unfortunately mental illness other than drug abuse can also make it impossible for a disturbed person to rationally submit. Fortunately most suspects, even if carrying guns, won’t use them against police and so the police can usually close with them without shooting them. (Contrary to gun-control propaganda, merely being in possession of an unlicensed handgun on the street is not punished severely, not worth getting killed over. Most people get probation and a prohibition on owing a firearm, which they ignore.) This makes us look more civilized but it’s not the police as much as the people being arrested even though most are members of underclasses just like in the States.
I’m glad the Memphis Five have been charged with murder because the trial will investigate state of mind which will be helpful in understanding this conduct. But none of that changes the folly of resisting arrest.
No, they certainly don’t. That’s why Wayne Couzens succeeded in his rape arrest. (well, the one he’s been convicted for ; it would be surprising if there weren’t other cases currently under investigation.) I don’t know what the names of Couzen’s American equivalents are, but it is practically certain that there are multiple Couzens in the various police forces of America.
He was – well, he still is, but he’s in jail now – a gun nut. Which is a type of bullying psychopathic personality trait which the American police forces seem particularly efficient at identifying, then recruiting.
The fact that people don’t understanding the depth of this principle, is not somehow falsified by the fact that in England a psychopathic cop (legally or illegally) arrested a woman and raped and killed her. You aren’t rational to stop flying in commercial planes because several have been driven into the ground by psychopathic pilots.
“He was . . . a gun nut. Which is a type of bullying psychopathic personality trait.”
Most or all gun nuts by virtue of being gun nuts have “a type of bullying psychopathic personality trait”? What in the hell are you talking about?
You then write, “[T]he American police forces seem particularly efficient at identifying, then recruiting[,] [this type of bullying psychopathic personality trait].” Please provide your methodologically sound statistics on the number of American police who have “a type of bullying psychopathic personality trait.” Remember, unless we’re playing word games here, “psychopathic” means “psychopathic.” Common sense tells us that a minority of American police are a genuine type of bullying psychopath or have that “trait” (which is essentially a distinction without a difference). And being pro-authority — which most police are — doesn’t mean being a bully; and it certainly doesn’t mean being a psychopath.
For this blog being the blog of a scientist, I’m surprised at the logical ineptitude and the sheer statistical ignorance of people commenting here, of even elementary statistical reasoning.
There are some commenters here who are ‘splaining how the victim resisted arrest, fought, and how that then got him kilt. I understand the motivation of contributing a different perspective, but it meanwhile completely misses the point.
No doubt the juries will determine at what point the cops crossed the line, having Mr. Nichols under control enough to be reasonably able to safely put him in custody, but continuing to beat him.
Also, whether particular types of force were used inappropriately when they were trying to get him under control, or just vindictively.
I have yet to read anyone seriously claim that excessive force was not used.
Still, you cannot understand the incident as a whole without asking why Mr. Nichols kept fighting and fleeing.
He fled, because like you, myself and Every other human being, his “fight or flight” reaction IMMEDIATELY kicked in. He TRIED TO COMPLY. Tell me, real slow, maybe I’m stupid but how do you give one cop your hands while two other cops are pulling it in the opposite directions? How do you lie on your belly when the ones screaming threats at you make it impossible? Also, how do you override your body’s natural defense mechanism to escape danger? So if he laid there took an unwarranted assault like a “good law abiding citizen “ he’d still be alive?
Heartbreaking, is all I can say.
Unspeakably horrible. The men in the NBC analysis pointed out that once he fled, since they had his car, they could have located him later. Agree that the beating looks like revenge rage. Heartbreaking.
Numerous Canadian police departments have officially (i.e., with statements from Chiefs) waded into this affair but what interests me about this CBC story is that these officers belonged to a unit called Street Crimes Operations to Restore Peace in our Neighborhoods (SCORPION). “The unit is composed of three teams of about 30 officers who target violent offenders in areas beset by high crime.” (American news sites have more details.)
The Memphis Police Chief (who is a reform-minded black woman) had initially said the unit had been doing effective work and ought not to be shut down and dishonoured by the actions of these five. She has just caved to pressure from the black community and from police officers and has disbanded it. The announcement was met with cheers from demonstrators marching in Memphis.
Target violent offenders yet you want them pulling over traffic infringements. Interesting recipe. Brutes chosen for a particular task, perhaps necessary yet let loose on average people. Of course it should be disbanded. 100% of a particular group of them, when allowed to show their true colors, showed exactly what they are like. The odds that most of the rest aren’t the same seems slim.
But then the criminal classes always would celebrate the disbanding of an effective anti-crime unit, wouldn’t they? The people who gather for street protests — and it seems to have been a modest number, by prior standards — aren’t the ones who went to work at the night shift in a hospital, worried about being accosted on the way by violent criminals or shot in a gang cross-fire. Protests tell you more about the protesters than the issue.
Reckless driving is not a “traffic infringement” like driving with a broken tail light. People often drive recklessly because they are drunk, high, or have committed a crime (as Timothy McVeigh had.) No police officer, no matter what his dedicated job is, ought to ignore a motor vehicle being driven recklessly. (In Canada, it’s not a traffic offence. Dangerous driving, like DWI, is a criminal code offense.)
As I write this, I’m aware that there is some doubt, ginned up by Mr. Nichols’s supporters, that he was indeed seen to be driving recklessly. Since he is not on trial here, and the police are not being criticized so far for stopping him in the first place, only for what happened later, perhaps we will never find out the circumstances of the stop or whether intoxication was involved. But I reject the notion that police officers targeting violent crime should ignore reckless drivers until they commit other crimes.
The careful dancing around the issue of the ethnic origin of the parties by the NYT is interesting to observe https://www.nytimes.com/2023/01/28/us/police-tyre-nichols-beating-race.html. Apparently this is cause for anguish. Here police brutality is a culturist (?) issue, not a racist one. Finding systemic racism in Memphis police indeed would be cause for anguish. The article also keep referring to the races of the victim and the police officers, while I thought that races do not exist.
For years the New York “Times” has put out near-propaganda on the rate of killings of blacks by whites. Just as no tech article is to be positive, every article on the killing of blacks by whites is to involve, in an emphatic way, the perpetrator’s race, whereas the race of perpetrators of color is whenever possible to be downplayed. The “Times” has tried to make the implicit idea there the standard idea in society: primarily whites victimize blacks. But it is a lie, of course; a false standard. Blacks kill many more blacks than whites do — that is the true standard. When you hide it, and the death of a black man at the hands of a group of black police officers becomes so notorious that it must be reported on honestly, the anguish will have to be explained as “complicated” and “a problem for reform”; it is much easier, more straightforward, to report false patterns and create an easy scapegoat — to blame whites for black problems — when you can downplay the truth and play up whites as devils. Then less responsibility is needed. One can simply rely on the fiction to explain the problems. The Devil’s been busy, you see; that’s all. And the Devil is everywhere. The Devil is even able to possess black people and make them kill in its name: Tyre was killed by white supremacy, by whiteness itself. But no one believes it. Tyre’s death doesn’t allow this simple-minded, essentially religious, fantasizing about whites. It forces the liars at the New York “Times” and elsewhere to face reality, briefly. And they write it up almost in wonder, and very carefully and very seriously; they give the impression that something sacred has been transgressed. The proud liar always pretends to dignity when exposed.
How did the five policemen know that Tyre Nichols was visiting his mother, and that his mother was beyond hearing distance? There is something fishy here…
Could the police already have been familiar with Nichols when they initially stopped him for driving erratically? Several commentators have mentioned that they already appeared to be angry with him. If he was known to be trouble (or maybe resembled someone who was) it might explain their excessive animosity.
I predict we will learn that one of the cops had a personal beef with Nichols. That would also explain why Nichols ran.
Two things I noticed when watching the video, which nobody else has mentioned:
1) The police were angry when they approached him at the red light. This would be normal behavior given the situation they described. However, while resisting at the very beginning next to his car he stated: “wow!, you guys are really doing a lot right now”
2) They beat him until he was dead. Once they got him cuffed and he was subdued he sat leaning up against the car for several minutes and was completely responsive. It’s only later on that his health took a turn for the worse. There are likely thousands of similar instances where the person doesn’t die.
While the video is hard to watch, my conclusion was that he was resisting in a smug way based on his comment. Whether or not the bodycams were on during the earlier part of the evening, they did turn them on before they approached him in person. They also mentioned that he touched two of their guns in the process. While this should be subject to some scrutiny, at the time he was conscious and I don’t really think this case would be in the limelight if he didn’t go through cardiac arrest and kidney failure three days later.
It’s easy to say Tyre Nichols was resisting arrest. The world see black men every day being beaten, an killed by police. It’s on our news too much.
Everyone knows or should know Blacks get stopped 10 times more, an are racially profiled more often than any race. We can keep making excuses for vigilante cops or demand for reform now. It has got to stop, when you have fear, you run. No one in their right mind is going to go willingly to their slaughter. Blacks see on their TV’s daily so many Blacks killed by police for a missing tail light, missing tags on car, running a light, these are minor offenses, including driving reckless, none of that warrants death.
Tyre Nichols was no threat to five police, he was already handcuffed, these officers did not use proper training, he was shouted different commands from five men yelling obscenities at him all the while they were beating an kicking him in the head. When he yelled for his mom, the beating didn’t stop, it’s very clear they wanted to do.physical.harm, he was subdued, the further beating was not necessary. I have seen White men walk down the street with assault rifles, not killed, I have seen a White woman take the police gun in his police cruiser an sat in his cruiser for four hours, until she felt like getting out, she had repeated commands to get out of the car, she didn’t sfher to any of the commands, she wasn’t killed, I have seen a White man chased down the freeway for hours with him.pointing a gun out the window while fleeing police, he wasn’t killed, when they stopped him with the tilt maneuver, they handcuffed him an took him.into custody, this could have been done for Tyre Nichols.
America stop making excuses for these rogue, thug, vigilante cops, this man did not deserve to be beaten to death as if he were a rag doll. People are running, not stopping, because they are afraid of being beaten an killed, they must know the fear because they are there in that moment feeling that fear, they are faced with no help, no solution when these type situations are escalated usually by the police. Blacks have that fear that it could be their children, sons, father’s, husband’s when stopped by police, Whites don’t have those fears because it doesn’t exist in their neighborhoods. Blacks act like they do when stopped by police because no.matter how nice they act, an how they listen an take the commands nothing seems to work. These young Black.men must feel they are going to be treated different an fear the outcome because they’ve seen it so many times on our televisions so they run. When anyone feels fear, they are going to run, Black or White, it doesn’t make it right when a police stop.xou, but it doesn’t make it right to.kill someone just because they ran.
There are good cops, an there are racist cops, there are vigilante cops, an there are cops who hide behind a badge to do their heinous, racist, disgusting an murderous acts. Black Lives Matter, police should be held accountable for killing innocent civilians,
because they don’t kill White people or other races as they do Blacks, killing is a sin an one day those that can stop this an don’t, will be held accountable for allowing this, all.life matter.
This is racism.in the highest form because it targets one race of people, even though five Black men killed this young man, they were trained in a culture that has a history of killing Black people.
“It’s easy to say Tyre Nichols was resisting arrest. The world see black men every day being beaten, an killed by police. It’s on our news too much.”
Maybe you should just stop watching the news. They lie and their lies seem to be causing you anxiety.
“Everyone knows or should know Blacks get stopped 10 times more, an are racially profiled more often than any race.”
Blacks commit crime, yes, even traffic violations, by the proverbial boatload. A sure fire way for blacks to stop having so many interactions with the police is for blacks to stop committing such huge numbers of crimes.
“We can keep making excuses for vigilante cops or demand for reform now. It has got to stop, when you have fear, you run. No one in their right mind is going to go willingly to their slaughter.”
In a typical year, twice as many whites are killed by police compared to blacks. Hopefully this little dose of reality will help you be more cooperative in your next police encounter.
“Blacks see on their TV’s daily so many Blacks killed by police for a missing tail light, missing tags on car, running a light, these are minor offenses, including driving reckless, none of that warrants death.”
None of this has ever happened.
“It’s easy to say Tyre Nichols was resisting arrest.”
It is easy, because it’s true.
“This is racism in the highest form because it targets one race of people, even though five Black men killed this young man, they were trained in a culture that has a history of killing Black people.”
Racism in its highest form is not a group of black police officers accidentally killing a black man foolishly resisting arrest. It is one race exterminating another. To equate this terminus of racism with the Tyre case is to reveal yourself as incapable of sensible thought.