Criminal Justice

Better Police Training Could Have Prevented the Tragedy in Memphis

The five Memphis police officers involved in the beating of Tyre Nichols have been fired and charged with various felonies, following Mr. Nichols’ death on January 10th. The charges include second-degree murder, aggravated assault, and aggravated kidnapping resulting in bodily injury, to name the most serious. They have pleaded not guilty.

Mr. Nichols was pulled over by officers for alleged reckless driving and was immediately ordered out of his vehicle. He struggled with police officers, fled the scene and was later caught by officers a few blocks away, where the beating ensued. An independent autopsy commissioned by his family found that Mr. Nichols “suffered extensive bleeding caused by a severe beating,” according to preliminary findings recently released.

Could better police training have helped prevent this tragedy? According to experts, the now former Memphis Police officers clearly lacked necessary training.

Americans are demanding that elected officials address surging violent crime and improve law enforcement training and practices. ALEC members have recognized this, and the Criminal Justice Task Force has approved a series of model policies that are worthy of consideration. The following models are also featured in ALEC’s Essential Policy Solutions for 2023 as part our push to build better communities:

Police are tasked with challenging duties, often very dangerous ones. They also carry with them a high level of expectation and responsibility as public servants. As such, police officers deserve to be meticulously trained on how to properly navigate difficult circumstances prior to their occurrence. The public deserves it as well.

In Depth: Criminal Justice

The American Legislative Exchange Council is proud to be a leader on criminal justice reform. For over a decade, the ALEC task force on criminal justice has brought state legislators and stakeholders together for the purpose of driving sound criminal justice policies. ALEC members focus on new and innovative state…

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