The handling of the Dyer Nichols case in Memphis represents a national shift

Mr. Ben Crump, an attorney representing Nichols’ family, praised the quick timeline but suggested race may have played a role. All five police officers charged were black. “We want to announce that anytime this is the plan going forward, whether they’re black or white, they’re going to be held accountable,” Mr. Crump said. “You can no longer say we have to wait six months to a year.”

Chris Magnus, who previously led the police department in Tucson, Ariz., said, “There was an attitude that the less shared about various incidents — certainly reflecting police shortcomings or misconduct — the better.”

“I think it contributed to an environment of mistrust and distrust of the police because people felt they were only being informed when it was good news,” said Mr. Magnus said. The law school’s policing program.

In recent years, some police departments have made it a practice to release videos of police shootings, avoiding the debate over releasing the footage. Officers in Milwaukee And Phoenix, for example, publish YouTube presentations that often include footage from body cameras, sometimes clipped and narrated. Some agencies now allow family members of the dead to view videos before releasing them to the public.

Kristen Ziman, who retired as police chief in Aurora, Ill., in 2021, said early in her career she was told not to comment on police shootings. Doing so, the thinking went, risked compromising criminal or internal investigations.

But in recent years, that strategy has become untenable, he said. As high-profile deaths at the hands of police sparked nationwide protests and many departments adopted body cameras, expectations changed. she said The killing of George Floyd By a Minneapolis police officer in 2020, it sparked protests and unrest across the country. Including AuroraIt was a turning point.

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