Under the shock of the killing of Tyree Nichols, the debate has renewed in the United States regarding police violence, amid a general feeling that the massive demonstrations that took place in the country in 2020 did not result in a settlement to this problem.
In the latest case of violence in this context, the black American youth, Tyree Nichols, 29, died in hospital 3 days after he was severely beaten by police officers (also black), who were later charged with murder.
Laura King, daughter of Rodney King, whose violent beating by policemen in 1991 sparked a wave of unrest in Los Angeles, told CNN, "It's sad that the situation is still the same in America, I can't believe."
The killing of the black youth, George Floyd, when a white policeman pressed his knee on his neck until he suffocated, triggered a historic mobilization in the spring of 2020, and promises were issued under street pressure across the United States to implement reforms.
Two years after that, the number of those killed in contact with the police reached a record high, the highest since 10, as it reached 1186 dead during the year 2022, including 26% of blacks, while they represent only 13% of the total population, according to the website. Mapping Police Violence.
According to Human Rights Watch figures, US police have killed about 600 people in traffic checks since 2017.
By way of comparison, less than 20 people die every year in France during a police intervention, a difference linked especially to the huge amount of firearms spread in the United States, which exacerbates the policemen's fears for their safety and prompts them to take the initiative to draw their weapons, and 66 policemen were killed while performing I served them last year, according to the fund set up in their memory.
However, attorney Ben Crump, who was representing George Floyd's family and today supports the Tyree Nichols family, stressed the role of "a pervasive culture in the police establishment that tolerates the excessive use of force, especially against minorities."
"We have to have this discussion over and over until it stops," he said on Friday during a news conference.
Among the promises of 2020 are a review of the widespread impunity enjoyed by police in the United States and the creation of a registry for officers who use excessive force.
However, a federal bill that won bipartisan support when it was introduced, failed in Congress in light of a significant rise in homicides, made Republicans return to their traditional rhetoric of "law and order".
With the impossibility of achieving progress at the federal level, the debate proceeded domestically, step by step, amid a wide divergence of approaches.
The United States has approximately 18,000 independent police entities and agencies, ranging from municipal police to county police, state patrols, and more, each with its own rules of affiliation, training, and permitted practices.
A number of these bodies revised their rules of intervention, banning in particular chokehold fixation techniques, generalizing the use of video cameras, and increasing penalties for violent elements.
In this context, Memphis police have banned unannounced home invasions, emphasized a "duty to intervene" against violent colleagues, and revised their training in de-escalation techniques.
However, local police chief Cereline Davis acknowledged that "officers immediately set out to escalate tensions" when they tried to stop Tyree Nicholls solely for a traffic violation.
Activists believe that the problem lies in the broad powers granted to the US police to arrest people, even in cases of minor offenses.
"We must stop relying on the police to address problems related to poverty or misinvestment in some neighborhoods," said Cathy Senbach, director of the local chapter of the American Civil Rights Union. "This leads to more frequent, unhelpful, and aggressive actions."