Five former Memphis police officers were indicted Thursday on murder charges in the death of Tyre Nichols, whose beating after a traffic stop was captured on video that “sickened” a top Tennessee law enforcement official.
Police had said that Nichols was supposedly stopped for reckless driving, but Memphis Police Chief C.J. Davis said early Friday morning an investigation and review of available camera footage had found "no proof" of that.
The officers involved — Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith — were fired after, Davis said, they violated department policies during the Jan. 7 stop that led to Nichols' death.
All five former officers were charged with second-degree murder, two counts of official misconduct, two counts of aggravated kidnapping, one count of official oppression and one count of aggravated assault, prosecutors announced.
Police departments, and our country generally, need more Harry Dunns. https://t.co/b7QgRyXiBL— George Conway🌻 (@gtconway3d) January 27, 2023
All those disposed toward prayer should pray for the comfort of the family and the victim's loved ones, though the individuals calling for "prayers" after murders and tragedies typically are individuals who wouldn't pray if their lives depended on it.
It appears Harry Dunn is calling for guilty verdicts for the five officers, now ex-officers, charged with murdering Tyre Nichols. However, justice should be the highest priority and there have been few details thus far revealed, let alone a trial (or plea) or a guilty verdict. If Dunn is suggesting that we can assume that the Memphis Police Department and Shelby County prosecutors have it right and there has been no overcharging, there is at least one lesson we haven't learned from the black lives movement of two-and-a-half years ago. A need for vengeance should apply in some capital cases, though I'm sure that's not what Dunn/Conway are referring to, especially being this is not a first degree murder case.
Certainly, police brutality can never be acceptable and it is safe to assume from what little we know that considerable brutality was applied by police to the victim. This, and this sort of thing, also should not be acceptable:
A barber who had just became a father for the second time was shot dead while cutting hair last weekend, according to police in Tennessee.
Darwin Hill, 29, was on a house call in southeast Memphis when he was shot at about 1:30 a.m. on Saturday, January 21.
Detectives said Hill and a woman had been hit when a gunman fired into the home. The woman, who has not been named, was critically wounded, according to CBS affiliate WREG.
The Gun Violence Archive, which collects information about shootings all over the country, states that 17 people have been shot dead in Memphis since January 1. There have been 53 fatal shootings in Tennessee since the start of the year.
Seventeen fatal shootings occurred in the first 26 days of the year in Memphis. In that city alone, seventeen people now are dead who should not be. The circumstances of each were unique However, a killing such as that of Darwin Hill- minding his own business and struck down while working in a house pierced by a bullet- is especially tragic. As the attention of the nation and to a lesser extent, the world, turns toward the evidently horrific killing of Tyre Nichols, we should remember, mourn, and address the victimization endured, and largely tolerated, every day of innocent Americans.
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