The nation and the city of Memphis are struggling to come to grips with video showing five disgraced police officers pummeling Tyre Nichols. The footage released Friday left many unanswered questions about the traffic stop of the Black motorist and about the other law enforcement officers who stood by he lay motionless on the pavement. The five Memphis Police Department officers, who are also Black, have been fired and charged with second-degree murder and other crimes in Nichols’ death three days after the arrest. The video renewed questions about how fatal encounters with law enforcement continue even after repeated calls for change.
As mass shootings are again drawing public attention, states across the U.S. seem to be deepening their political divide on gun policies. A series of recent mass shootings in California come after a third straight year in which U.S. states recorded more than 600 mass shootings involving at least four deaths or injuries. Democratic-led states that already have restrictive gun laws have responded to home-state tragedies by enacting or proposing even more limits on guns. Many states with Republican-led legislatures appear unlikely to adopt any new gun policies after last year's local mass shootings. They're pinning the problem on violent individuals, not their weapons.