EDITORIAL - A symptom of something else?

The Freeman
EDITORIAL - A symptom of something else?

Aside from mass shootings, it seems there is another problem the US just cannot shake off; policemen inflicting unnecessary violence upon civilians, or simply called police brutality.

You may have heard by now that US policemen beat up a man who later ended up dying. And no, we are not referring to George Floyd who died in 2020 after a policeman knelt on his neck for nine minutes, we are referring to another man, Tyre Nichols, who died in the hospital last January 10 after he was “beaten up like a piñata” for an alleged traffic violation in Memphis, Tennessee.

Some US cities are currently securing their areas expecting massive violent protests after Memphis police released videos of five policemen subduing and repeatedly hitting Nichols, an African-American, for four minutes, especially dealing him blows to the head.

One particular security camera footage, even though it has no audio, isn’t easy to watch.

While people can easily blame racism behind the Floyd case --something we don’t necessarily agree with-- it’s more difficult to pin racism as behind the Nichols case when you consider the five policemen now accused of murder for his death are all also African-Americans.

So what was behind it? Was it lack of training on the part of those policemen? For now, especially following the Floyd case, policemen should have been briefed about how much force is already too much. They should know when a suspect has been subdued enough to the point that he no longer presents a threat to them or to anyone else.

People watched the videos could not help but comment the policemen seemed to be taking out their anger on Nichols. Why the rage? Is there something else lurking under the surface that we are unaware of? That same rage fueling many people --not just Americans-- to become more radicalized and willing to act on their beliefs violently?

Yes, incidents like police brutality in the US don’t happen as often as mass shootings. We can even say they are more isolated. But over the years they have become more and more common and more and more brutal. And considering how people today can quickly communicate with each other and express indignation, it’s not too farfetched to say that violent reactions may quickly follow.


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