Tag archive: Polizzi

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Death in Memphis: The Tyre Nichols Story

On 7 January 2023, another traffic stop gone horribly wrong claimed the life of Tyre Nichols, when Memphis police pulled over the 29-year-old for “reckless driving.”  After an initial confrontation involving pepper spray and a taser, Nichols broke free and fled on foot.  When apprehended by five officers, he was beaten so badly that he died three days later.  Body cam footage release by Memphis PD after the officers themselves had been arrested on January 26th and charged with second degree murder, among other offenses, reveals a shocking level of brutality and escalation of a situation that had never placed any officer in danger.

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The Murder of George Floyd

On Monday evening, May 25, 2020, Memorial Day, police were called to a small shop in Minneapolis, Minnesota following a report of a man trying to pass a counterfeit twenty-dollar bill.  Four officers took a black man matching the description of the suspect into custody, handcuffed him, then laid him down in the street, where one white officer held him prone with a knee on his neck for almost nine minutes, while he begged for air and called out to his deceased mother, and the other officers watched or assisted.

 

Passersby and EMTs pleaded with the officer to relax his stance, but he persisted, for almost three minutes after the man beneath him became unresponsive.  Taken to Hennepin County Medical Center, EMTs worked to revive him for almost an hour before he was pronounced dead at 9:25 PM CDT.  Protests began the night after the incident, escalating to violent confrontations with police and looting over the ensuing four nights, as demonstrations spread to urban centers across the country.  All four officers were terminated from their employment with MPD the following day, and four days later the arresting officer was himself arrested and charged with third degree murder and manslaughter.

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