Again America is made Famous by ViolenceThe horrible death of Tyre Nichols pulls the cover off the true America once again. This is Rodney King 32 years later. The country has a learning problem - a disability at the national level. Too bad there are no therapists for countries. America would need couch time with all of them.
There are very interesting contrasts between these two incidents.
In the King case four white officers beat the crap out of a black man. In the Nichols case five black officers beat the crap out of black man. King survived. Nichols died. King was charged with "felony evading", but later the charge was dropped. Rodney King - Wikipedia. Nichols was alleged the be driving recklessly, unsubstantiated. The King incident was videoed by a third party or we likely would not have seen it. Nichols was videoed by police cameras and others. Otherwise we likely would not have seen it. According to the same Wikipedia article the four officers who beat King were charged with excessive force and 3 got off. The jury was hung on the 4th. Later federal charges were brought for violating King's rights. Two served time. In the Nichols case all 5 officers were quickly charged with second-degree murder and kidnapping plus other serious charges. We will see the outcome. After the King incident there was massive rioting, injury, and death. It took the Army, the Marine Corps, and the California Army Nation Guard to restore order. So far this has not happened with Nichols.
The quick action against the officers this time and the reality that almost everything is now being captured on a camera somewhere is a good thing in my opinion. Not everyone agrees. The bad thing is that police brutality has not improved.
If you talk to many cops they will maintain that many of the young people who are the typical "gang bangers" are people of colour. They justify the need for caution in traffic and other stops on the possible use of guns. Sometimes cops are surprised and killed. What we saw which ultimately killed Tyre was not caution. We saw what many are describing as terrorism - against non-white victims. We saw bullies.
Guns were not a even a factor with King or Nichols. Where was the risk of being shot to these five police officers? They had him on the ground - similar to King; similar to Floyd and other cases. The beating continued. Why? Some of the comments from those bullies tell us why. It was what they do.
Therein lies the biggest problem I see here. Is there something about a career as a police officer that attracts bullies? Let me recognize that the majority of police officers are NOT of this mentality and serve the public for the right reasons. They never fire their gun and never beat up on people in custody. However too many are getting in who do not belong. Are some jurisdictions so desperate that they will pay big bucks for anybody to take the job? Look at it the other way around. If you are a bully by nature, what an occupation! Great pay and all the action you want!
Are these the same genes that cause some men to lose it when rebuffed by a woman, especially sexually? Do they beat the crap out of their wives when she says "No?" Do these genes make men go berserk when someone doesn't stop; tries to flee; mouths off? Are these insults to their cop ego?
This is a big problem for police forces everywhere. The military has a similar problem but following orders and protocol are both drilled into enlisted people as are the negative consequences of disobeying. Perhaps police forces could learn from this. How about police boot camp?
In summary this is a very similar problem to America's second big challenge: how do you keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them? I don't have any solution but perhaps the next big push in genealogy research should be to identify the bully gene. It's in those spiral molecules somewhere beating up the other genes.
Imagine how many lives would be saved!
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