On Friday, authorities released video footage of the killing of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols by five Memphis police officers. CNN’s Van Jones authored an opinion article claiming that racism was the driving force in Nichols’s death despite the victim and accused officers all being black men. Media pundits echoed that sentiment, pointing to “systemic racism” and calling it irrelevant “whether the police officers are black.”
When violent riots erupted across the country in 2020 after the death of George Floyd, however, many of the same media pundits were quick to identify the race of the white officer who murdered Floyd as the most important detail of the case.
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