Last Updated on January 30, 2023
U.S. Reps. Cori Bush (D-MO) and Maxwell Frost (D-FL) blamed the Memphis police beating of Tyre Nichols on “white supremacy” despite the fact that all five accused officers were black.
Five Memphis police officers are facing murder charges stemming from the brutal beating of Tyre Nichols. The accused officers claimed that Nichols was driving recklessly then stopped him, chased him, and beat him senselessly while he was in handcuffs. Nichols died a few days later as a result of his injuries.
In response, all five officers were fired and subsequently charged with second-degree murder.
Despite the fact that all five officers were black, freshman U.S. Rep. Maxwell Frost blamed the killing on “white supremacy.”
The Florida congressman initially made the statement on Friday, only to delete the tweet after backlash. On Sunday, Frost reiterated his belief that the beating was a result of “white supremacy.”
“Doesn’t matter what color those police officers are. The murder of Tyre Nichols is anti-Black and the result of a system built on white supremacy,” Frost tweeted on Sunday. “Diversity in police ranks has not solved the crisis of policing where Black people are the prime targets of brutality and incarceration.”
“They’re more likely to be arrested and jailed for the same crimes committed by white people. They’re more likely to be convicted for a crime. They have longer jail sentences. And they’re far less likely to get parole – all for the same crimes committed as white people,” he continued. “To deny the anti-Blackness and white supremacy undergirding our justice system is to blind yourself from reality. We need a completely holistic, top-to-bottom approach to ensure justice in our country and accountability for actors in these systems.”
Diversity in police ranks has not solved the crisis of policing where Black people are the prime targets of brutality and incarceration.
— Maxwell Alejandro Frost (@MaxwellFrostFL) January 28, 2023
Frost went on to state that backlash to his statements shows the need to “educate” America on racism and class issues.
Like Frost, U.S. Rep. Cori Bush blamed the beating on “white supremacy.”
“And let’s be clear: merely diversifying police forces will never address the violent, racist architecture that underpins our entire criminal legal system. The mere presence of Black officers does not stop policing from being a tool of white supremacy,” Bush wrote in a statement.
In addition to Bush and Frost, CNN contributor and former Obama official Van Jones penned an op-ed reiterating the same points. “From the King beating to the murder nearly three years ago of George Floyd, American society has often focused on the race of the officers — so often White — as a factor in their deplorable acts of violence,” Jones wrote. “But the narrative ‘White cop kills unarmed Black man’ should never have been the sole lens through which we attempted to understand police abuse and misconduct. It’s time to move to a more nuanced discussion of the way police violence endangers Black lives.”