Memphis’s Problems Are Only Going to Get Worse
Tyre Nichols’s death is a tragedy, but the data show that crime soars when police pull back.
A New York Times article last week on Tyre Nichols managed to work multiple references to “the old Confederacy” into a news story about the death of a black suspect pummeled by black police officers in a city with a black police chief. Such is the desire of the media to shoehorn this tragedy into a predetermined racial narrative.
There’s a lot we still don’t know about what happened to Nichols, and the investigation is ongoing. If the media wanted to play a constructive role it could provide some context and remind the public that fatal encounters between police officers and civilians—including black civilians—are rare in America, even though annual contacts between police and the public number more than 60 million. In recent years, these incidents have gained more attention because of social media, but that doesn’t mean they’re happening more often.
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