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By fousesquawk (Reporter)
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Disgrace in Memphis

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 As a retired law enforcement officer, I cannot let this day pass without commenting on the dreadful news out of Memphis this week. A young black man, Tyre Nichols, was savagely beaten by five Memphis police officers (who were also black). Nichols died of his injuries three days later. After reviewing videotapes of the incident, the police chief, (also black) fired the five officers. They have now been charged with second-degree murder, among other charges. 

As much as I want to find some legitimate reason for their actions and support cops, after watching the videos that were released last night, I find no words to express the disgust I feel. That young man was beaten to death by cops who conducted themselves like thugs. Nichols, who was initially dragged out of his car at gunpoint, as if this were a felony car stop (for reckless driving), was assaulted by the cops, managed to break free, and run a few blocks before being captured and savagely beaten. He was kicked in the head while he was on the ground, hit with a billy club, and while being held upright by officers, was slugged in the face by another. 

This is not what any American law enforcement agency trains its people to do. I saw no resistance from Nichols other than trying to shield himself from the blows and kicks. There are certainly times when officers have to defend themselves when a suspect is actively fighting or assaulting them. This was not such a case. There is ongoing now a careful dissecting of the videos to determine exactly what each officer did during the course of this incident. 

This is a stain on all law enforcement, and I am sure that cops in Memphis and all over the country feel the same disgust as I do. Yet, they will still pay the price. No doubt there will be more demands to “defund the police”. Their job has once again become even harder.

I want to say this as carefully as I can lest it be misunderstood. In the first paragraph, I pointed out that Nichols, the five cops involved, and the police chief are black. Why? Because had any of those officers been white, we would likely be seeing a repeat of the George Floyd tragedy. The issue of “racist cops” would be front and center, as it was in the George Floyd case. There is no-or at least there should not be, in my opinion, racial aspect to this incident. Unfortunately, many on the left will still say race is a factor as to how police treat black suspects regardless of the race of the officers. This leads to another debate entirely. In the course of my own career as a military policeman, Customs agent, and DEA agent (1966-1995), I heard several references by colleagues to the effect that many black law enforcement officers seemed to come down especially hard on black suspects. If true, I think this was more true early in my career than in later years. Over the years, I think, black police and black federal law enforcement agents have become more sensitive to how black suspects were treated and more willing to speak out when they saw or perceived abuses. I want to stress here that this is all purely anecdotal on my part, and other law enforcement veterans may have a different perspective. 

At any rate, I have no idea what was going through the minds of these Memphis (ex) cops as they were beating this man to death. As I write this, Memphis is calm though there are naturally protests going on-protests quite justified in my view. The family of Tyre Nichols is pleading for calm, to their great credit. The system by all appearances is working. There will be justice.


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    • westgate

      Maybe they weren’t trained to do that however, after a discernible shift in policy, (think lockdowns) this will be a common result of seemingly innocent encounters with police moving forward.
      All police everywhere will be doing this in order to provoke an uprising.
      Then, they get to utilize all the military hardware they have and go break up the ganglands in Chicago, Los Angeles, Baltimore……It will be a war zone with thousands being killed daily by the “police”

      We will be surprised at who will be helping the police also.
      Black and White antifa types will be deputized as a terror ingredient to confuse the people, but remember, they are on the same side as the gov, not the opposite.

    • O allen

      I am positive that the 5 black policemen didn’t wake up in the morning and think to themselves “I want to kill a black person.” in fact; it would be the furthest from their thoughts. I can’t excuse it, but this much is true: IF Tyre had cooperated, he would be alive today.

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