Friday in an op-ed on CNN, contributor Van Jones claimed the black police officers who killed Tyre Nichols, who was also black, may have been “driven by racism,” stating that “it is the race of the victim who is brutalized — not the race of the violent cop — that is most relevant in determining whether racial bias is a factor in police violence.”
The op-ed titled “The police who killed Tyre Nichols were Black. But they might still have been driven by racism,” begins by recalling his arrest during the Los Angeles riots following the beating of Rodney King by four policemen in 1992. Jones subsequently decided to dedicate his career as a lawyer to help “sue rogue cops, close prisons and reform the criminal justice system.”
He cited Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn “CJ” Davis, who compared the beating of King with the death of Nichols, saying, “I was in law enforcement during the Rodney King incident, and it’s very much aligned with that same type of behavior. I would say it’s about the same, if not worse.”
“How do we explain Nichols’ horrific killing, allegedly at the hands of police who looked like him?” Jones asks. “It’s time to move to a more nuanced discussion of the way police violence endangers black lives.”
According to Jones, blacks are not immune to the “pernicious effects” of anti-black racism. “Self-hatred is a real thing… Cops of all colors, including Black police officers, internalize those messages — and sometimes act on them.”
Jones concludes that “racial animus can still be a factor, even when the perpetrators are all black,” charging that “people often oppress people who look just like them… The vast majority of human rights abuses are committed by people who look exactly like the people they are abusing.”
Translation: police are anti-black racists even when they’re black.
In response, Valuetainment’s Patrick Bet-David blasted CNN. “Any opportunity @cnn gets to divide, it jumps on it,” he wrote. “It’s a shame. Why not try to unify for once?”