Five Former Officers Indicted in Tyre Nichols' Death

    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

    The Facts

    • On Tuesday, five former Memphis police officers involved in the fatal beating of Tyre Nichols were charged in federal court for violating Nichols' civil rights.

    • The four-count indictment charged each with wilfully depriving Nichols of his constitutional rights under the "color of law" through excessive force, failure to intervene, and deliberate indifference, in addition to conspiring to tamper with witnesses and obstruction of justice through witness tampering.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    The indictment of the five officers responsible for the death of Tyre Nichols is what justice should look like in America. Officers who abuse their authority and betray their oaths destroy public relationships and trust nationwide. This announcement sets a new precedent, puts officers on notice that they are not above the law, and signals that using their badge to apply excessive force, intimidate, and kill will not go unpunished.

    Narrative B

    Increased crime in Memphis has forced law enforcement to lower the requirements to become an officer, putting many new, untrained, and inexperienced officers on the beat. Even more so, what is notably missing from the police department are veteran, tried, and actual supervisors. Having a seasoned officer in charge, who would have stepped in and superseded the actions of those five young officers, could have avoided this tragic ending.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 1% chance that a large American city will fully abolish its police department before 2035, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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