What systems are in place to stop executions of Black people by way of ignorance, hate, jealousy, outright savagery, and police brutality?
Should we be shocked by the gruesome beating of another Black man, Tyre Nichols in Memphis, by the hands of police? Which in this case led to his death only minutes from his doorstep?
Much attention has been given to police brutality since electronics have been used to inform cases and to tell stories that Blacks are not always deemed credible enough to tell on their own. Blacks must rely on technology to detail being treated like chattel.
The reality is that we should not be shocked that the police once again have killed an innocent human. Nor should we be surprised that it was a Black man, always the most hated and objectified. As video surveillance shows, Tyre stated, “I did not do anything.” Because the only man who must profess innocence before proven guilty is, of course, the Black man. No one else carries this burden. To hear such words, and to look into the eyes of a Black man pleading for his life, is to get a glimpse of the horrifying world Black men live in. It’s to be alive but only for a time before, one way or another, you are captured.
Individuals who can’t seem to understand this concept, especially amidst all of the protest following this recent death, are ignoring not only structural and systemic racism, but they are ignoring that a Black man’s life was ripped away from him. This continuous shaming and dehumanizing of Black people, to a point where other blacks accept that it’s ok to harm, kill, traumatize, and brutalize Black people, seems to have been the blueprint of police, the court system, and other institutions that were built on the backs of Black people and slavery.
We can all ponder upon what is right and wrong. However, the unfortunate reality is that Tyre Nichols was killed right in front of cameras. Once again, police failed to protect and serve, instead becoming henchmen, judges, jurors, and even executioners. What good is video surveillance if no one is reviewing the cameras in real time?
Does the race of the offending officers matter? As it relates to police maleficence and brutality, in this case, the blue had poor training and a reckless disregard for Blacks. As the mother of Tyre Nichols said, “They beat him to a pulp.” Not only was he beaten, but what they did apparently caused immediate cardiac arrest, acute kidney failure, multiple organ failure, and shock. He was hit until he lost all ability to circulate and perfuse his organs. The sweat and all form of hydration was knocked out of him by way of the police baton. According to the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology, sudden cardiac arrest is defined as “the sudden cessation of cardiac activity so that the victim becomes unresponsive, with no normal breathing and no signs of circulation.” None of these medical conditions were able to be treated in the attempt to save his life. The EMT workers also failed Nichols, leaving him no opportunity to survive.
Whether the officers involved are black or white, the police need expeditious reform and standard protocols. Cops apparently have inadequate medical training to recognize traumatic injuries; in Memphis, they continued to beat Nichols after he was visibly lifeless. What systems are in place to stop executions of Black people by way of ignorance, hate, jealousy, outright savagery, and police brutality?
We deserve better. So why is there so much pushback against police reform and educational requirements? There’s no time to waste. We demand the outright lynching of Blacks by way of so much trauma must stop. It must be condemned. And it is upon us all to do our part to end this vicious cycle of evils on Blacks. It is not a subtle ask that the Black man must coexist. The time is now to save Black people, or we will be eradicated.
Another Black person does not need to die, be murdered, or be brutalized before people wake up. The so-called Scorpion Unit behind this tragedy had many complaints of brutality against its members. This should be enough to cue the demand for police reform now. Who do you call when the police are the ones beating you?
Tricia Thomas is a Registered nurse in Massachusetts with over two decades of nursing, clinical management, pharmaceutical medical affairs, administration, and civic engagement background. In dedication to all my sisters on the front line!