Race, Police Brutality, and Tyre Nichols

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On Saturday, January 7th, 2023, a 29-year-old black man, Tyre Nichols, was subjected to a traffic stop near his home in Memphis, Tennessee. As seen on graphic body camera footage published by the city of Memphis, Nichols was brutally beaten by multiple officers. Three days later, he succumbed to the injuries that he sustained from the beating. This particular case of police brutality has become national news particularly because the five officers responsible for the death of Nichols—Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills, Jr., and Justin Smith—are black. Because of the intraracial nature of this incident, there has been much discussion about whether or not race motivated the beating. Much of this discussion throughout the media is more ideological than it is illuminating.