MSNBC legal analyst and Georgetown Law Professor Paul Butler blamed the deadly beating of Tyre Nichols at the hands of Memphis police officers on Republicans in Congress who “stood in the way” of passing police reform legislation.
Butler joined MSNBC host Joy Reid on “The ReidOut” Thursday night and asserted that congressional Republicans blocked “common sense police reform” that could have prevented the excessive force that resulted in Nichols’ death.
Fox News Digital reported that multiple Memphis PD officers have each been charged with “seven felony charges, including one count of second-degree murder, one count of aggravated assault, one count of official oppression and two counts each of aggravated kidnapping and official misconduct” for the brutal incident that killed Nichols.
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The department released body cam and surveillance footage of the attack Friday evening, increasing tensions within the local community. In the most intense segment of the footage, three officers are shown restraining Nichols as one lands multiple severe blows on his face and head with his fists.
Anticipating the horrific content of the police footage, Nichols mother, RowVaughn Wells urged her community to “protest in peace” at a Thursday candlelight vigil.
Reid prompted Butler’s comments with remarks on a “sort of gang mentality” that exists within police departments that are “allowed for decade after decade to operate with impunity.”
She asked Butler, “Is that what this is, a culture problem that’s bigger than necessarily just the race of the officers?”
Butler answered affirmatively: “It’s 100% a culture problem. Old school policing lore says if a guy tries to run when officers want to arrest him, he pays for it. Bad apple cops follow that principle, but that’s not what the majority of hard-working, law-abiding officers do or should do.”
Butler added that Nichols was “right to be afraid of these officers.” Though as he continued, he placed part of the blame for these bad officers on Republican lawmakers.
He stated, “But we know that many people, especially Black and brown people, have complaints that police use excessive force, and typically those officers are not even disciplined, much less charged with crimes.”
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He added, “So, when we look to how we can do better, there’s some common sense police reform, including what was contained in the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, that Congress has failed to act on.”
Butler then said, “I should be a little bit more specific than Congress. It’s the Republicans in Congress who have stood in the way of passing legislation that would make a difference and prevent more tragic cases like this one.”
Reid agreed, providing her own two cents. She stated, “And the money that they receive from the national police unions, et cetera, in many ways is one of the issues. We could have a whole conversation about that.”
Though several conservative critics on Twitter refused to let Butler get away with his statements.
The Spectator contributing editor Stephen Miller rebutted the MSNBC legal analyst with an image of CNN’s report on Sen. Tim Scott’s, R-S.C., own police reform bill, the “Justice Act.” The headline of the 2020 reported read, “Senate Democrats block GOP police reform bill, throwing overhaul effort into flux.”
He then made a veiled jab at Democrats in Memphis, Tennessee, saying, “And as I have repeated, we’re not going to have a conversation about which party has run policy in Memphis for the last 30 years.”
Popular conservative Twitter user Phineas Fahrquar asked, “Who was it again who blocked Tim Scott’s bill in the Senate?”
And conservative writer Doug Powers added, “Awful things that happen in Democrat-run cities are somehow always the fault of Republicans.”
Source: Fox News