OPINION: All police brutality should be handled as quickly as the Tyre Nichols case


Kaitlynn Devitt

Let us take a moment and remember the man that Tyre Nichols was and the impact his death had on his family, community and world.

According to the New York Times,
five Memphis police officers were charged with second-degree murder for the death of 29-year-old Black man Tyre Nichols. It was reported as a routine traffic stop which escalated to a horrible, brutal situation. 

On Jan 27, a video was released to the public which shows these Memphis Police Officers beating Nichols as he cried out for his mom. The video was released only one day after the officers were charged. 

Yes, as a person of color, I can say that this is the speedy response we have been asking for when it comes to police brutality against Blacks. The fact that it was five Black cops involved and information and video of this horrific scene arose so quickly raises suspicion for me.I believe that if these cops were white, the video would have probably never been released to the public and legal action wouldn’t have occurred so quickly. Yes, we as a Black community want change for the better, but I do not think it was necessary to release such a sickening video that shows Nichols’ last moments alive, only a few blocks away from his home.

An article by the New York Times displays public opinions about the video, and many described  the altercation as shocking and evil and refused to watch it. DeVante Hill, an activist who was planning to hold a rally in Memphis, expressed a level of exasperation. 

“I wish I could say I’m sick and caught off guard, but I’m not,” he said, describing complaints against the Memphis Police Department stretching over generations. “I am not shocked as much as I am disgusted.”

I personally refuse to watch the video. I do not think that I could ever bring myself to watch something like that. Reading about Nichols’ death and hearing about it on the news is enough for me. I believe that if you feel the same, you should stick by that and not watch the video.

More information about Nichols’ death is being released to the public, including what kind of person he was. He loved skateboarding, photography, and even created social media posts in support of the Black Lives Movement.  “He liked to go and watch the sunset and take pictures,” his mother said at a news conference in Memphis on Friday. “That was his thing.”

It took less than three weeks after his death for these five officers to get charged with second-degree murder. How quickly this situation was handled and how quickly these officers were charged for their actions is the kind of response and action that we have been asking for. I only hope that this swiftness of decisions and consequences continues for any other police brutality situations that may occur in the future.