This Week on American Black Journal:

Tyre Nichols’ death: A roundtable about racism, police reform and racial trauma

The recent death of Tyre Nichols, the 29-year-old Black man killed by five Black Memphis police officers, has sparked another wave of nationwide protests and demonstrations against police brutality in cities across the U.S., including the majority-Black city of Detroit.   

Nichols was pulled over by Memphis police officers January 7 for reckless driving, the police released in a statement. During two confrontations between Nichols and the five officers involved, Nichols was brutally beaten, tased and pepper sprayed by the officers for three minutes. Three days later, Nichols died from his injuries.   

In the weeks since his death, police have released the body camera footage from the night Nichols was pulled over, Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis has fired six officers involved — five of whom are now facing charges of murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression and the U.S. Justice Department has opened a civil rights investigation. Another officer has been relieved of duty and three Memphis Fire Department personnel have been fired.  


Reacting to Nichols’ tragic death, One Detroit contributor Stephen Henderson, host of “American Black Journal,” leads a roundtable with Black Lives Matter Detroit Co-Founder John Sloan III, Detroit Police Department 2nd Deputy Chief Kyra Joy Hope and licensed clinical psychologist Isha Metzger.   

They talk about police reform and accountability, racism in policing, and the trauma that can occur in Black and brown communities after viewing the video footage of Nichols’ violent encounter with the police.  

The group also discusses the race of the police officers and how that’s factoring into the national conversation, alternative options for public safety, the Detroit Police Department’s focus on transparency and accountability, and the importance of checking in on your emotional well-being when instances of police brutality occur. 

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Watch American Black Journal on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 9:30 a.m. on Detroit Public TV, WTVS-Channel 56.