February 2, 2023

The Burden of the Blue: Police Mental Health in the Wake of Tyre Nichols’ Murder

Police have witnessed things that no sane person would ever want to experience or voluntarily choose to see.

The atrocities that law enforcement officers witness on a daily basis can have a profound impact on their mental health. Officers are witnesses to the worst of humanity; disturbing images of women beaten by their husbands, dead children and bodies mitigated beyond recognition. These officers endure trials that no person should ever have to face, yet they continue to leave their homes and families, not knowing if they will return home alive or even return as the same person their loved ones once knew. Therefore, we must prioritize and invest in mental health resources for law enforcement to ensure that the individuals responsible for protecting our lives daily are in a stable and healthy mental state.

Tyre Nichols was beaten, battered and murdered by five law enforcement officers who took an oath to protect their community. Their job was to safeguard the citizens, not to take their lives. I have no sympathy for them, and neither should you — they killed a person who was going about their daily business in cold blood. He could have been you. The question, therefore, is not only whether these officers, and others like them, who commit such atrocities should be held accountable and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law but how we can further prevent such situations in the future.

Taking away the uniform, a police officer is no different from a civilian. The actual difference lies in their mental state. Police have witnessed things that no sane person would ever want to experience or voluntarily choose to see. And they must continue to go out daily, knowing they will likely encounter similar situations.

To prevent further indiscriminate violence by police officers, it is crucial that they are not only equipped with physical protection, such as body armor and firearms, but also with the necessary mental state to protect others. It is well known that individuals who commit acts of violence, such as school shootings or mass killings, are not mentally sound. Unfortunately, the same applies to police officers who commit such heinous acts of violence. With the inordinate power they wield over civilians, we must hold them to a higher standard for their actions but treat their mental state like anyone else’s to ensure they don’t need to be held accountable for anything. This means ensuring they are in the right mind before being deployed in the field.

I am convinced that the officers who brutally attacked Tyre Nichols were mentally ill and unstable. It is incomprehensible that they would beat an innocent man to the brink of death simply because he did not comply with their commands. I have encountered many police officers who have faced situations of a fleeing suspect, and none of them felt compelled to act in the way that these officers in Memphis did. This is not because they are necessarily better people but because they are mentally stronger, or at least haven’t experienced an event or a group of them that has made them mentally unequipped to wear a badge.

The actions of unstable police officers have put America at a crossroads. Will we create an environment where law enforcement is hindered and exposed to increased danger, both from a legal and physical standpoint, or will we provide them with the resources to continually uphold the standards of professionalism expected of those who serve and protect?

This incident should be viewed as a lesson, not a reckoning. While five officers committed unspeakable acts, there are millions of officers out there who would never do such a thing. For those officers, it is crucial that they are provided with the appropriate tools to discharge their duties to the best of their ability. This includes ensuring that they have access to mental health professionals so that they can cope with and process even the most disturbing events they may witness, rather than allowing it to fester and cause them to harm — or even kill — innocent people.

Law enforcement are people like you and me. They have human emotions and experiences that they carry with them throughout their lives. Each situation they encounter is not something taken lightly; it exacts a heavy toll and adds a burden that impacts how they discharge their duties. However, they also carry immense power in their role, which must be exercised with caution to protect the rights and liberties of those they serve. What these Memphis officers have done is done, and now we must move forward to prevent these tragic situations from occurring in the future. Investing in mental health resources for officers is how we start. Law enforcement is disrespected by being defunded and not supported, which is why so many have retired, and others refuse to consider the case altogether, leading to nationwide police shortages.

Officers need support, too, and a part of that is having healthy relationships with the communities they protect and serve. The job is demanding and taxing, and only some people are willing to accept a position where they may not return home to their loved ones. We all benefit when we’re able to trust one another.


Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

The Patriot Post and Patriot Foundation Trust, in keeping with our Military Mission of Service to our uniformed service members and veterans, are proud to support and promote the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, both the Honoring the Sacrifice and Warrior Freedom Service Dogs aiding wounded veterans, the National Veterans Entrepreneurship Program, the Folds of Honor outreach, and Officer Christian Fellowship, the Air University Foundation, and Naval War College Foundation, and the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. "Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one's life for his friends." (John 15:13)


“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

Join us in prayer for our nation, that good and righteous leaders would rise and prevail, and that division would be healed so we can be united as Americans. We pray also for the protection of our Military Patriots, Veterans and First Responders, and for their families.

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2023 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.