All Police Brutality is Racism.
The latest case of police brutality happened in Memphis, Tennessee where a young Black man named Tyre Nichols was beaten to death by five Black Memphis police officers over a traffic stop. This case comes three years after the death of George Floyd in 2020. The main difference this time is that the cops responsible are Black too.
Just because the cops are Black does not make this black on black crime or a simple case of police brutality. These Black men are part of an institution that was created to keep free slaves in check and it has been doing it’s job ever since.
There was a time when Black people felt safer around Black cops. Most Black people feel more comfortable being pulled over by a Black cop. Most Black people want Black cops policing their neighborhoods. I have Black cops in my family. I have friends from high school who became cops. I have cops who are members of my Black fraternity. Most Black people are familiar with a Black cop whether or not they personally hate the police. My wife’s Doula’s husband is a retired police chief and I’ve hanged out with him plenty of times.
But the video releases of Tyre Nichols makes Blacks distrust Black cops.
This is not the media’s fault. This is not about the media trying to paint a picture. These cops did this to themselves. In a world of body cams, camera phones, and the ability to connect to the internet in real time, I imagine it’s hard for the media to twist a narrative long enough before someone calls their bluff. This is simply police brutality and murder.
Reports say that the cops did not intend to kill Nichols. No, these cops did not intend for Nichols death to gain national attention and for all five of them to get charged with second degree murder. What the hell do you intend when you repeatedly punch a man who is handcuffed? What do you intend when you beat a man who is unarmed and creating a life threatening situation?
I don’t give a fuck what these cops go through day to day. If a little bit of push back got you fearing for your life then you need a new job. Thousands of Soldiers came home from fighting a war overseas and they didn’t have the excuse to act a fool in public. They had to navigate their way back into being a law abiding citizen because no regular civilian was responsible for whatever Soldiers experienced at war.
The death of Tyre Nichols shows proof that Black cops make no difference in the grand scheme of the police force. Time after time Black cops join the force believing that they’re going to make a difference in their community. And I’m sure many of them are doing great things for their community. But Black cops don’t have the power to overcome the glass ceiling of racism in the police force. At the end of the day there is only so much they can do when racism pays their bills.
An interesting fact about this case is that all five of these cops were fired before criminal charges were filed and before videos released. This never happened before but all the cases before involved white cops.
Those Black cops probably felt like they were above being Black when they put that uniform on. But time and time again shows that it don’t matter what uniform you wear or how rich you are, if you are Black then you’re not welcomed in the secret society of white supremacy.
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