The number of first responders who participated in the savage beatdown of Tyre Nichols is growing. Five cops and three Memphis FD personnel have been fired; two cops were suspended pending further investigation. The disgusting incident is vivid proof that the racist institution of policing is still tone death to the cries of communities for justice.

Tyre Nichols suffered his deadly encounter with Memphis police under the guise of a traffic stop. He died three days later without ever gaining consciousness. He had to know at some point during the vicious attack that he wasn’t going to make it. I didn’t need to watch the video to know what happened; the image of a barely recognizable Nichols lying in a hospital bed was enough.

The police terrorism is getting more brazen. Police unions and associations are growing more hostile and resistant to change. They are doubling down and passing laws in red states that give them even more protection from justice-seeking voters.

In Missouri, legislation has been introduced to give local control of the St. Louis Police Department back to the governor. A 20-year community struggle reversed the authority in 2015 that had been in place since the Civil War. Also before the Republican-dominated general assembly is a bill that basically allows the governor to appoint a prosecutor when white folks don’t feel safe in the city. Now that the voters have elected two African American females with reform agendas as mayor and prosecutor, the racist white power structure is changing the rules of engagement.

I’m urging a different kind of strategy on the way to abolition. We ought to be wary of mass mobilizations that don’t give us the justice we so desperately deserve. We need to employ “A.N.D.” tactic as part of our strategy to hold police accountable for their violent behavior towards our communities. A.N.D. means Add a Necessary Demand. Necessary Demands must be specific and measurable.

Protesting, praying and politicking are natural responses but are insufficient to bring this beast to its knees. It would be protesting AND. Praying AND. Politicking AND.

For example, getting a cop or two fired is a first step but typically if the people in blue are not indicted and convicted on criminal charges, they are allowed to go to other police departments or just change careers. Indictments are easy enough to get these days from a prosecutor under pressure. That’s because they know if they bring a half-ass case, jurors will have to acquit. Prosecutors then tell an angry public their office did its job and they can still maintain the cozy relationship with law enforcement. So, AND would be fighting for a conviction and sentencing, not stopping at firing or indicting. How many times have we prematurely rejoiced at indictments of killer cops, only to see them walk out the courtroom free men and women!

Rogue cops need to also feel some pain in their pockets. When suspended pending investigations, it should be without pay. If they get re-instated, so does their pay. We need to shift the financial burden of civil lawsuits to individual cops. Multimillion-dollar payouts mean nothing to them. The money doesn’t come out of their pockets. It’s time that it does.

In a city where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated nearly fifty-five years ago, I’m hoping the Memphis community will be inspired to honor his legacy by fighting for a judicial system that is just and humane - one that won’t take another Tyre’s life.

BlackCommentator.com Editorial Board member and Columnist, Jamala Rogers, founder and Chair Emeritus of the Organization for Black Struggle in St. Louis. She is an organizer, trainer and speaker. She is the author of The Best of the Way I See It – A Chronicle of Struggle. Other writings by Ms. Rogers can be found on her blog jamalarogers.com. Contact Ms. Rogers and BC.

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