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Political Gumbo: A Message to Pasadena Police Officers

Published on Monday, January 30, 2023 | 5:00 am

Late last week, video of the violent and fatal beating of Tyre Nichols by five Black Memphis police officers was released.

The 29-year-old had been living with his parents in Memphis since the pandemic. 

Officers pulled over Nichols due to “reckless driving,” according to Memphis police reports, what came next is damn near impossible to watch and has been condemned by law enforcement officers around the country.

Let me be clear, I don’t give a damn if the officers or the victim are black, white, red or green — wrong is wrong.

This is wrong, and barbaric.  

The video shows the officers repeatedly beating the man, even as he is on the ground. Towards the end, Nichols is heard screaming for his mother. 

Nichols died in a hospital three days after the Jan. 7 traffic stop.

Five Black police officers allegedly involved in the confrontation and beating of Nichols were fired last week, and all were charged this week with second-degree murder and other offenses.

“Following the events in Memphis and upon viewing the video footage, I am compelled to send thoughts and prayers to everyone impacted in that community,” said Pasadena Police Chief Eugene Harris. “Though force is a tool sometimes necessary in the application of the community protection mission, we are held to a higher standard. We must continuously pursue the highest level of police performance, professional conduct, and best practices as we serve our communities. The men and women of the Pasadena Police Department are committed to providing policing and other community services with efficacy as we apply the “legal, moral, ethical, safe, and within policy” standard. Additionally, we will remain committed to the highest levels of training and hiring standards to ensure effective policing in all cases, including and especially in police use of force. I encourage community members to contact my office directly with questions or concerns.”

Respect to Chief Harris for his statement and the men and women in the Pasadena Police Department that care about the community and local residents.

Going a step further, I encourage any law enforcement official in Pasadena struggling with anger issues or having trouble dealing with the public to seek the necessary help.

Obviously policing is a hard job that comes with more scrutiny than ever. 

Couple that with vitriol by some towards any and all police officers, including the good ones, and the stress and anger can quickly rise.

But as the great Stan Lee said, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

Yes I just quoted Amazing Fantasy #15, the 1963 comic where Spider-Man first appeared. 

Damn, I used to have a mint copy of that issue.

It’s worth well over 100 grand, today.  

Nevermind my bitterness.

Your badge gives you the highest responsibility the state allows.

People must be treated with respect as you stop the bad guys and lift up the City. 

And yes, that includes those that act a fool. 

Sometimes force is necessary. That’s a reality of the world we live in. But even then it must be done to protect lives and the community.

And yes that includes the lives of our police officers and our residents. 

The majority of the community appreciates the job you do. 

So consider the video in Memphis, if that level of force seems okay to you, it’s time to get some help.

Nobody needs to see another video like that.

We damn sure don’t want to see one that includes a local resident and Pasadena Police officers.

The community is counting on you.

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