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Philip Clay

Philip Clay

Project 21 Ambassador Philip Clay comments on the Tyre Nichols case:

Over the past year, I’ve had the opportunity to work with my local police department and come to understand what goes into being a police officer, from passing selection to being on the road by yourself as a patrolman.

I’m not naïve enough to equate my hometown in Indiana to Memphis, Tennessee. I do, however, know that law-enforcement agencies have national guidelines and state agencies that work very hard to maintain the highest standards. The actions of five police officers do not represent the law enforcement community as a whole. Most officers these days are taught de-escalation, and the use of force is only necessary as a last resort. Officers are also often taught to de-escalate their fellow officers when they get too emotional. There is no excuse for what these five men did.

I ask myself though, where is the outrage for all black-on-black crime? Why are “leaders in the community,” like Al Sharpton, not vocal about the children who are killed in black-on-black crime on a daily basis in places like Chicago? As these “leaders” continue to vilify police and cause tensions to rise, they set these communities — and the police who are sworn to protect them — back another step. After seeing the horrible Tyre Nichols footage, I ask: Was it racially motivated? White supremacy didn’t cause this. Bad cops doing a bad thing did.

We see CNN and other media outlets race-baiting and inciting anger by saying police are racist. To the media, this situation cannot be simply tragic; there has to be a politically-motivated statement referring to “how racist policing is.”

Yet this incident mirrors gang violence far more than it does racially-charged beatings.  These officers have no defense for the beating that they put on Tyre Nichols, and they deserve the charges being brought forth. There will likely be an investigation into the entire department, and these five might not be the only ones held accountable.

Regardless of the detestable actions shown in Memphis, we will still see men and women of all races, religions and creeds wake up and go to work protecting the very communities that are protesting against them. Terrorist organizations like Antifa will use this tragedy to race-bait and burn down cities, doing irreparable harm to the very communities they claim to support.

We have to raise up the officers who are doing their utmost to defend and protect, and work to weed out those who would break their oath. We have to stop looking to put the blame on everyone else and start looking at giving real leaders a chance to rebuild our morally decayed community.

Author: The National Center