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There are no words. 29-year-old Tyre Nichols was a son, a father, a photographer, and a Black man in America. Earlier this month, he was brutally beaten to death after a routine traffic stop by five Black Memphis police officers affiliated with the city's elite SCORPION, or Street Crimes Operation to Restore Peace in Our Neighborhoods.
Video of the attack—and that is precisely what it was—was released this week. It was difficult to watch Nichols’ body go limp after repeated heavy blows to his head. He succumbed to his injuries in the hospital three days later.
Nichols is just the latest high-profile example of an unarmed Black American meeting their end at the hands of law enforcement in a nation plagued by police violence and racial injustice. Sadly, he more than likely will not be the last. Last year alone, at least 1,176 people were killed by police, which works out to a rate of 100 per month.
Despite this number, the U.S. continues to spend staggering amounts of money on law enforcement. In 2022, the number was $215 billion. This money has helped fuel the militarization of police departments across the country.
The officers involved in Nichols’ slaying have been charged with murder in the 2nd Degree, but regardless of what happens, it will not be enough. Our current situation is untenable. The OptOut Media Foundation sends its condolences to Nichols’ family and loved ones as we raise our fists in solidarity with those fighting for change.
For more on Nichols’ killing, check out these OptOut participating outlets:
STATUS COUP reported on the ground from Memphis hours before the video footage was released covering demonstrations.
MLK50 published lingering questions about the Nichols killing that should be answered.
THE REAL NEWS NETWORK covered the harrowing body camera footage of Nichols’ extrajudicial killing in its Police Accountability Report and broke it down for viewers.
THE MARSHALL PROJECT did an interview with a journalist from a family of Black police officers to discuss why Black cops are not enough to topple systemic racism.
THE POLICE STATE
In other law enforcement-related news, DEFECTOR published a story about the battle over the proposed “Cop City” in Georgia and how it is part of a larger trend nationwide.
GRIST wrote about how demonstrators against “Cop City” are being charged with terrorism.
Across the country, Los Angeles police may soon be getting shiny new robots. KNOCK LA covered the story.
Meanwhile, PRISM examined how media coverage fuels unequal treatment in America's criminal justice system in a necessary article this week.
In other news, OptOut participating outlets kept on top of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. THE CITY published a necessary report on the New York children who have lost parents to the virus.
Meanwhile, Jeff Zients, the architect of the Biden administration's laissez-faire pandemic response that allowed the virus to rip through much of the country, has been tapped to serve as the president's chief of staff, replacing Ron Klain. THE NATION explored Zients' record and what his appointment could mean for the country.
THE AMERICAN PROSPECT also wrote about the implications of Zients taking over for Klain, noting his history of working in corporate America.
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The OptOut Media Foundation (EIN: 85-2348079) is a nonprofit charity with a mission to educate the public about current events and help sustain a diverse media ecosystem by promoting and assisting independent news outlets and, in doing so, advance democracy and social justice.