Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old black FedEx driver, died in the hospital three days after a deadly altercation with five black Memphis police officers on January 7. Unfortunately, nearly two months after Nichols’ passing, it remains nearly impossible to find any information about the Nichols case without being bombarded by a racially divisive narrative filled with red herrings.
Dozens of news outlets, such as CNN and Forbes, as well as several prominent Democrats—including Congressman Jamaal Bowman (D., New York) and the Reverend Al Sharpton—have tried to convince Americans that white supremacy and systemic racism were to blame for Nichols’ death despite the police officers being black. To confuse matters even more, Vice President Kamala Harris attended Nichols’ funeral to politically capitalize on his family’s tragedy, exhorting Congress to “pass the George Floyd Justice and Policing Act.”
Discerning readers will naturally wonder why the mainstream media and Democrats are trying so hard to decontextualize this case and prejudice every potential juror. The explanation is simple: The left finds political division, racial fissure, and profits more appealing than fact-finding.
Unpacking the Facts
At 8:24 PM on January 7, black officers affiliated with the Memphis Police Department’s SCORPION Unit—whose express purpose is to address crime within Memphis’ most dangerous neighborhoods—pulled over Nichols because he allegedly drove recklessly.
In the first minute and thirty-five seconds of the bodycam footage that the City of Memphis released on January 27, we see officers pull Nichols out of his car and instruct him to get on the ground and put his hands behind his back.
Despite multiple officers demanding that he comply with their orders, Nichols refused and physically resisted, insisting that he “was just trying to go home.” Moments later, one of the police officers tried to tase Nichols. He broke free from their grasp and fled the scene. But when the officers found Nichols 100 yards from his home, they proceeded to beat him profusely.
Nuances Abound, but the Left Doesn’t Care
Any reasonable person should understand that an excuse like Nichols’—“I’m just trying to go home”—is not a valid reason for police officers to immediately stop their intervention and pretend that nothing has happened. If that were the case, officers would not be able to detain any suspect or possible perpetrator.
Moreover, Nichols’ confused facial expressions, seemingly superhuman strength, erratic movements, and inability to comply with basic instructions—all of which the bodycam footage makes painfully obvious—raise the question of whether Nichols had drugs in his system.
That nuance is lost on the media. They jumped on Nichols family attorney Benjamin Crump’s leak of preliminary findings from an independent examiner’s autopsy, which Crump paraphrased as saying that “Tyre suffered extensive bleeding caused by a severe beating.” Yet the media ignored the elephants in the room when reporting on Crump’s leak: Why didn’t Crump release the entire autopsy report? Better yet, what does the toxicology report have to say?
Racial Division Is the Left’s Goal, Not Factfinding
It is notable that Democrats and social justice warriors have blamed white Americans for Nichols’ death instead of asking why so many neighborhoods are so dangerous that they warrant police forces like the SCORPION Unit. That deafening silence from American leftists on our country’s war zones shows their reluctance to recognize the politically uncomfortable issue of black-on-black crime and help the constituents whom they represent.
And instead of educating black Americans on the personal choices that could lead to immediate improvements in their communities, Democrats are once again trying to sell their George Floyd Justice and Policing Act.
Tellingly, that legislation would not have saved Tyre Nichols. It is instead full of poison pills, such as getting rid of qualified immunity, and represents an attempt to get black Americans to vote for Democrats for the next few election cycles without actually addressing the issues the black community faces.
Profit Another Motive for Racial Strife
Whereas critics argue that the officers in Nichol’s case were too aggressive and did not try to deescalate, in the case of Keenan Anderson, the police did just that. But the outcome was precisely the same—the arrestee died, and the media, the political left, and racial agitators had a field day.
Anderson, aged 31, allegedly caused a collision in Venice, California, on January 3. Police officers arrived on the scene, and body camera footage released by CBS News shows that they spent a substantial amount of time deescalating the tense situation, going out of their way to accommodate Anderson’s anxiety during his drug-induced high. Anderson nonetheless violently resisted arrest, ignored officer commands, and repeatedly walked into oncoming traffic.
After Anderson refused to peaceably lay down on his stomach in the wake of all his theatrics, an officer tased Anderson six times after the police warned him 12 times that they would do so. He died hours later from cardiac arrest, and the toxicology report indicated that he had cocaine and marijuana in his system.
Cue profit-seeking racial agitators. Their epitome is Patrisse Cullors, a cofounder of Black Lives Matter who was Anderson’s cousin. She was eager to post on Instagram after Anderson’s death, charging: “Keenan deserves to be alive right now, his child deserves to be raised by his father. Keenan we will fight for you and for all of our loved ones impacted by state violence.”
Recall that after siphoning $90 million from donors in the wake of George Floyd’s death, Cullors used more than ten million of those dollars to fund her lavish lifestyle, buying mansions and international real estate. Now, Cullors’ family is suing the Los Angeles Police Department for $50 million in damages, which is almost twice the amount George Floyd’s family received.
Any money settled from this lawsuit will no doubt unleash another spending spree. However, from activists’ point of view, that is the point.
Cullors’ Hypocrisy is Emblematic
In a teary-eyed charade facilitated by ABC News, Cullors admitted that she did not know her cousin was in Los Angeles, only becoming aware of his death days after it occurred. Had Anderson’s life actually mattered to Cullors’ family, they would have known about his whereabouts. And they would have helped him with his drug-abuse issue, especially given that drug dealers lace cocaine with fentanyl—which is likely the leading cause of death for American adults.
When people die after altercations with the police, it is often because their families abandoned them and left them without a sense of self-responsibility. Unfortunately, activists like Cullors, Crump, and Sharpton see family tragedies as convenient opportunities to swoop in and profit on the deaths of tragic figures.
Our cities are cash grabs for those left-wing activists, who use them to amass wealth that they would have never obtained on their own.
* The views expressed in this article solely represent the views of the author, not the views of the Chicago Thinker.
Yes keep standing strong. The left will keep pushing you down for your views. You drive some very good points young man. Keep writing it will reach someone and help them see the light.