— Eye on Everett —


The Blue Suit has taken the week off. He said he was doing a personal reassessment of his life and that he’d need a few days before figuring out what exactly he wanted to say and how he feels. He told me he was feeling extremely introspective, so introspective that he had lost his appetite. When he told me he had lost his appetite, I knew he was feeling very serious about his life. So I gave him the week off. Before we parted, he asked me to write about Tyre Nichols, the young Black man who was beaten to death by five Memphis police officers who have been charged with second degree murder.


What do most of think about the beating death of Tyre Nichols? Shock. Disgust. Depression and on and on.

How could five grown men, police officers with experience, beat to death an unarmed man following an alleged traffic stop. “He ran away from the police,” some people will say. Yes.

He did this.

He got away.

But then the police caught up with him and manhandled him like he was a serial killer and he lost his life as a result.

His last lingering moments were spent on the ground, laying against a police car, flopping over from side to side in pain and suffering while trying to breath.

We wonder, what had he done to deserve being beaten as he was.

In fact, what had he done to be chased like an animal and then beaten like an animal until he was almost dead?

This is what’s hard to figure out in the debate about police responses to some incidents like this.

What could have been so important about the law or justice for Nichols to be chased, with multiple police cars all charging down the highway hunting him down and the original five officers just waiting for him to be caught so they could beat him into submission, presumably for running away.

Let’s face it, most of us would never run away from a police officer after being stopped for whatever reason.

If you don’t run away, the thinking is, you won’t be hurt.

With these Memphis police officers, whether Tyre Nichols ran away or not, he was going to take a beating – and for what?

If we take the view of the situation from the police officer’s perspective, they were just doing their duty stopping Nichols, and then when he ran away, they were doing their duty apprehending him and handcuffing him.

Beating him almost to death was not supposed to be part of the apprehension…but when police officers adrenalin is way up, the guys wearing the badges and holding the guns – in this case, carrying batons and hitting Nichols with them and wielding their fists, and hitting him repeatedly, order broke down.

What should have been a simple arrest, became a nationwide disaster with millions of Americans wondering about police brutality.

Why couldn’t the police have decided to just let him go when he broke away and call it a night?

What had Nichols done wrong in the first place?

Nothing, or so it appears.

What we witnessed in the body camera videos worn by the Memphis police is law enforcement out of control.

What we also witnessed, was the breakdown of law enforcement leadership.

Couldn’t one of the five officers have said to his colleagues, his brother police: “Hey guys. This is getting way out of control!” All of us who respect the police for doing the right thing most of the time wonder about this.

Instead, all five went down a disastrous path, a monstrous path and took a man’s life for no reason, apparently.

Then we watched in shock and awe when the EMT’s showed up about 15-20 minutes after the beating.

What did they do?

They stood around while Nichols almost died in front of them.

What could they have been thinking?

How could they be so negligent in providing care to a beaten man laying on the ground and lurching toward death?

How can they answer such charges?

How can they live with themselves?

It took several days for Nichols to die.

Then it took several days for the police officers who beat him to be removed from their positions and a short amount of time before they were charged with second degree murder.

Again, many of us wonder why protests were occurring when justifce in this instance had seemed to be so swift.

Black police officers killing a Black innocent led to instance justice against the Black police officers.

Black people were upset because had the police officers been white, they very likely would not have been disciplined – as so many millions of Americans have come to believe.

I’ve been around Everett for a long time at this point.

In all my years, the Everett police have never participated in such a horrific execution of an innocent the way Nichols was beaten by those Memphis police officers gone wild. Also, I have never witnessed EMT’s showing up at a crime scene or any kind of scene, failing to give immediate care and assistance to those who are finding it hard to breath after a beating.

These things just don’t happen around here. Why?

Everett police officers aren’t thugs. They know the limits and they follow the rules.

They would much rather defuse a situation than to pour gasoline onto a fire.

Also, higher up officers arriving on such a scene would never condone a brutal beating or allow a brutal beating to take place such as Nichols suffered at the hands of five police officers.

This is Massachusetts, not Tennessee.

Five police officers with tasers, batons, guns, handcuffs, pepper spray versus one young Black man and the Black man died.

What does this tell us?

It reminds us that in some parts of the nation controls over what police do or fail to do are not as stringent as they are here in Everett.

We should consider our- selves lucky that the local police can be depended on to ob- serve common sense and the rule of law – and that EMT’s do the right thing every time.

What happened in Memphis was a crime.

All those involved should be punished to the full extent of the law.

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