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Outrage as Van Jones says Black cops involved in beating death of Tyre Nichols were ‘driven by racism’

CNN host Van Jones said Black people 'are not immune to anti-Black messages'
Van Jones slammed for saying Tyre Nichols death was driven by racism (Michael Kovac/Getty Images, GoFundMe)
Van Jones slammed for saying Tyre Nichols death was driven by racism (Michael Kovac/Getty Images, GoFundMe)

MEMPHIS, TENNESSE: CNN commentator Van Jones' editorial comments have caused a huge debate after he termed Tyre Nichols' killing as racism. While it was public opinion that Nichols' death resulted from police brutality, Jones has insinuated that the Black Fed-ex driver’s death "still might have been driven by racism" despite it being a brutal traffic stop.

The five Memphis officers charged for allegedly killing Nichols, a 28-year-old Black man, by beating him to death were all Black. Ever since Jones made this statement, he has invited a lot of backlash for making a police brutality case about racism and including a topic so sensitive.


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Van Jones' statement 

"From the (Rodney) King beating to the murder nearly three years ago of George Floyd, American society has often focused on the race of the officers, so often White, as a factor in their deplorable acts of violence. But the narrative ‘White cop kills unarmed Black man’ should never have been the sole lens through which we attempted to understand police abuse and misconduct. It’s time to move to a more nuanced discussion of the way police violence endangers Black lives." He then went on to say that Black people "are not immune to anti-Black messages," and said that "Self-hatred is a real thing."

"Black cops are often socialized in police departments that view certain neighborhoods as war zones. In those departments, few officers get disciplined for dishing out ‘street justice’ in certain precincts, often populated by Black, brown or low-income people, where there is a tacit understanding that the "rulebook" simply doesn’t apply," Jones wrote. "Cops of all colors, including Black police officers, internalize those messages and sometimes act on them. In fact, in Black neighborhoods, the phenomenon of brutal Black cops singling out young Black men for abuse is nothing new." Jones made the statement in an opinion piece published by CNN on January 27, Friday. 

Tyre Nichols' killing sparked protests around the USA 

After the Memphis police department released bodycam footage that showed the charged officers ruthlessly beating Nichols, protests broke out all over the country. People were seen marching with signs in their hands chanting Nichols' name and asking for a stop to police brutality. People came out onto the streets to show their support for Nichols' family and their rage towards the police in cities including Memphis, Atlanta, Boston, Washington DC, and New York City where Hawk Newsome, the co-founder of the BLM movement in Greater New York was also present. 

'We don't want to watch his show'

One user on Twitter said, "I wish they would please stop thinking we want him speaking for us!" Another user said, "Dear @cnn, We DON’T want to see Van Jones tonight. -The Black Community." A third person said, "Us White ppl don't want to see him either. I've been doing the MSNBC thing so I don't have to see him." Another user commenting on CNN, said, "I wouldn’t watch CNN if it was the only news channel available. Period."





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