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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Students speak on brutality after Nichols’ death

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The Collegian logo

OLLA MOKHTAR
campus editor
olla.mokhtar@my.tccd.edu

Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man, died as a result of brute force and abuse by officers of the Memphis, Tennessee police department.

This occurred on Jan. 7, when he was stopped due to reckless driving. Immediately after the altercation he was brought to a nearby hospital where he died of his sustained injuries three days later. 

The start of COVID-19 and the shutdown of the nation opened many people’s eyes into police brutality against Black people, and for SE student Yulitza Ruvalcaba it made her more aware.

“Since George Floyd, I definitely think people and also myself are more aware of police brutality, and it has become more well known since 2020,” Ruvalcaba said. “I wasn’t really aware prior to Floyd that police brutality was as bad as it was.”

In regards to police brutality, she believes that the only thing that would help these situations would be police reform. She expresses her feelings towards her safety being threatened.

“It’s very overwhelming and it doesn’t make me feel safe. You’d think that in a country like America, these kinds of things wouldn’t happen,” she said. “But they happen almost everyday and it honestly makes it so that I’m scared to live and stay in this country.”

She feels as though the main thing that can help police brutality and these sorts of situations is police reform. The body cameras for Nichols’ case were released 20 days after his death whilst Floyd’s footage was released almost three months afterwards. With most of Nichols’ officers being Black and Floyd’s being mostly white and mixed race, Ruvalcaba believes it is for malicious intent.

“At first, I didn’t think it was related to race but I think Floyd’s footage wasn’t released earlier because they wanted to cover it up as long as they could,” she said. “It makes me think that by releasing Tyre’s footage earlier they’re doing it an attempt to pit black people against each other and I think that’s what’s going to start happening if we keep seeing more cases like Tyre’s.”

To NE student Elizabeth Palpan, nothing has been done to solve or dissipate the issue of police brutality.

“Federally, no I don’t think anything has been done in regards to police brutality;it’s or gun violence in general,” she said. “Some cities’ solutions have voted to defund the police but the core of the issue is white supremacy and systemic racism.”

Palpan said that in her opinion the delaying of Floyd’s footage was because of the riots in combination with the COVID-19 pandemic and that she feels overwhelmed by violence in the U.S..

SE student Tony Fernandez explains his perspective on action from the U.S. government.

“There are cops that have been working since a certain time where black people and other minorities weren’t accepted as we are now,” he said. “So the way they see us is different, which leads them to act the way they do.”

Fernandez understand that even if he isn’t affected directly, he can sympathize with the Black community.

“It doesn’t affect me directly because I’m not the one being persecuted, but it is similar to ICE splitting families up for no reason,” he said.

“I think there’s a lot of hate in the world right now and just – be kind to people,” Ruvalcaba said. “You don’t know what another person’s going through, and it’s the time where we should be united, not tearing each other down.”

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