I watched the Tyre Nichols video. I didn’t want to because I knew what it was going to contain and dreaded the idea of seeing it, but I felt obligated to. A man died at the hands of the authorities, and as a citizen, I should witness what our government is doing. Even if — especially if — that government is accused of committing horrible acts.

I’m not glad I saw it. I wish I could un-see it. I don’t resent anyone else who doesn’t want to see it. There’s no lesser way to describe it: Demetrius Haley, Tadarrius Bean, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr., and Justin Smith murdered Nichols. Yes, he initially ran from the traffic stop. He should not have done that. But running from a traffic stop is not and should not be a capital offense that warrants the death penalty. After the officers had him safely detained, they proceeded to tase, pepper spray, kick, punch, and use a baton to beat him to death while he called for his mom. Anyone who claims to have seen that video and says that he deserved it or defends the officers’ actions in any way is either lying about seeing it, an irredeemable bootlicker, or a sociopath.

I grew up with the privilege of not fearing the police. Sure, I didn’t want them around if I was getting up to mischief, but I believed the worst that could happen was that they’d catch me and a court would punish me for it. Nichols didn’t have that privilege. He was right to be afraid of his police, and although it’s easy for me to say that he shouldn’t have run from them, it turned out that his fears were justified.