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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.

Status Coup LIVE From Memphis: Tyre Nichols’ Family Holds Press Conference Hours Before Body Camera Release
Videojournalist Jon Farina will air the press conference LIVE at noon eastern as Nichols’ mother, stepfather, and attorneys address the murder charges against 5 officers who beat Nichols to death
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MLK50 published lingering questions about the Nichols killing that should be answered.

Tyre Nichols is dead. 5 cops are indicted. We still have questions.
Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy announces charges against the five Memphis Police Department officers fired Friday after Tyre Nichols was
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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.

Tyre Nichols’ brutal killing proves America’s addiction to specialized police units has to end
The video of the killing of Tyre Nichols by a specialized policing unit reveals in graphic detail how America’s reliance on specialized police units comes with tragic consequences.
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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.

Tyre Nichols’ Death: How Black Officers Alone Can’t Stop Brutal Policing
A dialogue with Wilbert L. Cooper, a reporter from a family of Black officers, on why Black officers are no cure for police violence.
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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.

Cop City Is A Step Toward Cop Nation | Defector
The murder of 26-year-old Tortuguita, a community organizer and forest defender, by Atlanta police last week sent shockwaves through the city. The activist, who is nonbinary and queer and who went by a single name, was part of the protest camp demonstrating against the city’s planned 85-acre police…
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GRIST wrote about how demonstrators against “Cop City” are being charged with terrorism.

Documents show how 19 ‘Cop City’ activists got charged with terrorism
Documents show how Georgia police are invoking a 2017 terrorism law against activists accused of little more than trespassing.
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Across the country, Los Angeles police may soon be getting shiny new robots. KNOCK LA covered the story.

Are Robot Dog Cops Coming to LA? - Knock LA
The Public Safety Committee will vote on the notorious “quadruped unmanned ground vehicles” Tuesday afternoon.
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Meanwhile, PRISM examined how media coverage fuels unequal treatment in America's criminal justice system in a necessary article this week.

Newsrooms must reckon with their crime reporting
The ways newsrooms report crime can have irrevocable consequences for both individual lives and public perceptions
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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.  

The Pandemic Robbed Thousands of NYC Children of Parents. Many Aren’t Getting the Help They Need.
Schools are uniquely positioned to identify and support grieving children, but families and school staff say the system isn’t equipped to serve them.
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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.

Biden’s Former Covid Czar Steps Up to Run the Show
As public health remains an ongoing concern, Biden’s next chief of staff enters his new role with a record of privatization.
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THE AMERICAN PROSPECT also wrote about the implications of Zients taking over for Klain, noting his history of working in corporate America.

The Myth of Jeffrey Zients
There is no reason to trust a longtime corporate stooge to serve as President Biden’s chief of staff.
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