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Killings by police brought reforms. Fear of crime is unraveling them.

The Washington Post
March 10, 2024

RowVaughn Wells traveled to the Tennessee Capitol last week hoping to preserve the small silver lining that emerged from the death of her son, who was fatally beaten last year after being pulled over by Memphis Police. In his memory, the city passed the Tyre Nichols Driving Equality Act, barring officers from conducting certain traffic stops for low-level violations, among other measures.

But now state lawmakers are advancing legislation that would nullify the Memphis law. On Monday, state Rep. John Gillespie (R), the bill’s sponsor, ran into Wells and her husband in the Capitol, where they had come to bear witness to debate on the legislation.

Gillespie appeared taken aback at seeing them, Wells recalled in an interview, then collected himself.

“I hope you understand,” he said.

“I don’t,” she shot back.

Read more reporting about our clients, including Tyre Nichols' parents, and the continued fight for policing reform in the Washington Post from reporters Robert Klemko, Emily Davies and Tom Jackman.

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