Cops Accused of Murder in Death of Tyre Nichols Were Hired After PD Relaxed Job Requirements, Launched 'Diversity' Push

Chris Menahan
Jan. 30, 2023

At least two out of five Memphis police officers charged with murder in the death of Tyre Nichols joined the force after the department relaxed hiring standards and launched a push to improve the department's "diversity" under the promise that residents having cops "who look like them and understand their culture" would serve to "defuse" conflicts without the need for "physical force."

From The New York Post, "Memphis cops charged in Tyre Nichols murder hired after PD relaxed job requirements":
At least two out of five Memphis police officers charged with murder in the fatal beatdown of Tyre Nichols joined the force after the department relaxed its hiring requirements.

Tadarrius Bean and Demetrius Haley both joined the Memphis Police Department in Aug. 2020, NBC News reported, more than two years after the department dramatically loosened the education qualifications to become an officer.

Recruits no longer needed an associate’s degree or 54 college credit hours to join the force, and could get by with five years of work experience, Action 5 reported.

Loosening the required qualifications however means that the department is ultimately getting “less desirable” job candidates, Mike Alcazar, an adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a retired NYPD detective, told The Post.
From WREG, Nov 17, 2019, "How Memphis Police and Memphis Fire work to become more diverse":
The Memphis Police and Fire departments have talked about getting more diversity on staff and how that can mend community relations. Now they’re trying different ways of achieving it.

The fire department launched a program at Trezevant Career and Technology Center a couple of years ago to get more high school students trained and ready to join the force. The program is one avenue MFD is using to boost the number of female recruits, and also get the department more racially diverse.

“I’m a woman but I can do it,” sophomore Camila Lee, 15, said. “I’m doing it right now. I’m short and small.”

[...] At the Memphis Police Department, recruiting is also important.

Their recruitment team says they want to build a force that reflects the city’s population, which is why they’ve been recruiting nationwide.

“We go to big cities. We look at where they may be laying off officers or changes may have happened within their government,” said Fonda Fouche, the city’s Talent Management Officer.

[...] [Mike Williams, Memphis Police Association president] said the city has to make the job “more appealing, so we can draw those people in,” he said.

He acknowledged diversity is necessary, and that common ground creates comfort.

“A lot of times when people see people who look like them and understand their culture, they have the ability to walk into these situations and defuse them without using physical force,” he said.

In the case of Tyre Nichols, the five black officers involved in the incident were able to connect with Nichols on a deep level by repeatedly calling him a "muthaf**ka" and beating the hell out of him in a culturally sensitive manner.

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