Tyre Nichols: The Memphis Police Didn’t Fail. They Did Exactly What They Were Designed to Do

Chris Newman
5 min readJan 29, 2023
My good brother, you deserved so much better than this.

“This is the definition of excessive force.”

“We do our level-best to weed out officers who are looking to exercise power and violence.”

“What we’ve seen breaks every rule and guideline in police training.”

And yet… so-called “warrior training” is prevalent and popular with police departments all over the country, fired officers readily find employment in other police departments (including Memphis’ own police chief), police create units with lethal-sounding names like “SCORPION” likening themselves to elite military units and deploying themselves into impoverished neighborhoods as an occupying force, and police managed to kill more people last year than any other year on record.

How much longer are we supposed to pretend this sh*t is happening by accident instead of by design? You could MAYBE have forgiven police for going a little overboard with the warrior mentality in the aftermath of 9/11 when the country was in a paranoid fit about Bin Laden’s “hit them everywhere” strategy (which never materialized) and police departments were essentially drafted and funded as domestic military auxiliaries by the Federal government.

But that was 22 years ago. More than half my lifetime. It was before Google was a household name, before social media existed, before the first smartphone. Policing in America has had decades to calm the f*ck down and, since the smartphone era, dozens of moments of national public intervention to understand that their wholly-unnecessary wet-dream of being a civilian military has unavoidably deadly consequences.

And yet, after all this time, nothing’s changed. So it’s time to say it out loud:

American police departments are sociopathic institutions.

Don’t take my word for it. Ask WedMD for the traits and behaviors of a sociopath:

  • Lack of empathy for others
  • Impulsive behavior
  • Attempting to control others with threats or aggression
  • Using intelligence, charm, or charisma to manipulate others
  • Not learning from…

--

--

Chris Newman

Building a new, accessible, open, and democratic food economy in the Chesapeake Bay region @ Sylvanaqua Farms