Many of us spent recent days thinking about the life of a man we never met. And yet, particularly for Black people, know very well. Tyre Nichols was our sons, brothers, fathers and husbands. Before releasing video of five Memphis police officers repeatedly beating and kicking him until he was unconscious and later died, Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis said she expected us to, “Feel what the Nichols family feels.”
While that grief, anger, sadness and despair will never match that of a mother who lost her child, psychologists say all of us can experience vicarious trauma when we bear witness by watching what happened to Tyre Nichols and countless others like him.