Tyre Nichols and researching police violence in the news

Emory students, faculty, and staff can follow events surrounding the death of Tyre Nichols through the library’s subscriptions to local, national and international newspapers.

Events leading to the death of Nichols and public response to the incident have been widely reported in the press. Thus far, we know that on January 7, Memphis police officers beat Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man, after he was stopped for what the police initially said was reckless driving. The stop ended with Nichols hospitalized in critical condition; three days later, he died. The event was first reported by the New York Times on January 20. It has since published some 100 articles on Nichols’ death. Stack of newspapers

In Georgia, reporters also covered Nichols and local public response. Atlanta’s WSB-TV, for instance, interviewed Gerald Griggs, president of the Georgia chapter of the NAACP. Griggs noted, “Two years after George Floyd, seven years after Jimmy Atchison. We’re still having the same conversation about police accountability.” The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Atlanta Daily World and other papers have also chronicled Georgians’ reactions.

Track stories like these from Georgia, the broader United States, and internationally as they unfold via the library’s subscriptions to individual newspapers and through our databases.

Today’s news

The library provides digital subscriptions to the following newspapers. Subscriptions work much like personal digital subscriptions to the papers and mimic reading today’s paper from cover to cover.

Recent coverage 

The library also provides access to hundreds of other digital newspapers in large databases from around the world. These resources work like more traditional library databases, and allow researchers to read across different papers.

  • Access World News – Access domestic newspapers, international newspapers, news wires, transcripts, and broadcasts, including 16 Georgia newspapers including the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

  • ProQuest News & Newspapers – Also read the Atlanta Journal Constitution here. It also has historical coverage of the Constitution and Atlanta Daily World.

  • Ethnic Newswatch – Part of ProQuest Newspapers, search recent issues of the Atlanta Daily World and other African American papers from the United States.

  • Factiva – Search a large collection of publications and websites in a variety of languages.

  • Nexis Uni – Search international, national, and regional newspapers, magazines, trade journals, newsletters, wire service reports, and transcripts of television and radio news programs. It also includes access to news, business, medical, educational and legal sources.

Searching for stories about police accountability in newspapers

Not sure where to start your newspaper research? Here are a few suggestions.

If you’re exploring a particular case, one good place to start is a basic New York Times search. Once you’ve set up a New York Times digital account, search for “Tyre Nichols,” “George Floyd” or “Breonna Taylor.” Articles with the headline “What We Know” or “Timeline” are often digestible entry points.

Finding articles on police violence more broadly requires additional search terms. When searching in databases like Access World News or NexisUni, consider searching for combinations of these terms–police reform, criminal justice reform, police brutality, police violence, police misconduct, police accountability or discrimination in law enforcement.

Ready to go beyond news sources? Researchers at Emory also have access to resources that can put the events from Memphis into broader context. See, for example, Emory Library Guides on Policing and Incarceration, Black Lives Matter, and Social Justice.

Help us build our collection and advance research! Suggest materials – books, films, journals – for the library related to the police and policing.

Additional resources 

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