The five Memphis police officers committed a heinous act, and local authorities are doing everything possible to ensure everyone involved in this brutal killing is held accountable. Though there is a worry that the release of body cam footage will lead to violence, it's in everyone's best interest that public safety is maintained. Even Nichols' family is asking their community, and the public, to allow authorities to finish their detailed investigation.
Nichols's murder at the hands of police officers is part of a far larger and deadly pattern in policing in the US. Police officers killed at least 1,176 people last year, a record amount. Top-down changes must be made to either reform or completely redefine what role the police should have in American society. All too often, "routine encounters" lead to death.