Tyre Nichols’ family and friends gathered Wednesday for a funeral that blended celebrations of his life with outrage over brutal beatings by police in Memphis, Tennessee, and fervent calls for police reform.
Both Reverend Al Sharpton and US Vice President Kamala Harris delivered impassioned speeches calling on Congress to pass justice in the George Floyd Police Act. – Knock warrants and other measures.
Harris said the police officer’s beating of Nichols was an act of violence that violates the police’s mission to ensure public safety.
“It wasn’t for public safety, because Tyre Nichols being with us today wasn’t for public safety? So when you talk about public safety, it’s true.” Let’s figure out what we mean by “Tyre Nichols should have been safe,” she said.
“That’s not the police. That’s the punks.”
Sharpton began his eulogy by recognizing the families of others killed by police who attended the funeral, including George Floyd, Botham Jean, Eric Garner and Breonna Taylor. Tong said the officers who beat Nichols might have acted differently if there had been true accountability for their actions.
“I understand there are public safety concerns, and I understand that crime needs to be addressed,” Sharpton said.
“But you don’t fight crime by becoming a criminal yourself. You don’t stand up to street thugs becoming thugs yourself. Five men against an unarmed man.” It’s not the police, it’s the punks.
His remarks received a round of applause from the crowd.
“If that man had been white, he wouldn’t have beaten him like that,” said Sharpton.
“Brother, Friend, Human”
The Reverend J. Lawrence Turner called Nichols “a good man, a beautiful soul, a son, a father, a brother, a friend, a man,” and that he left this world too soon to “know his right to life, liberty, and pursuit.” denied happiness, denied the dignity of human nature, denied the right to see the sun set on another day, the right to hug one’s mother, the right to be with one’s friends, the right to have children, and the right to grow old. Did.
“To celebrate Tyre’s life and to comfort this family, I want to remind the country that reruns of this episode, which makes up the hashtag ‘Black Lives’, have been canceled and will not be renewed for another season,” Turner said. I’ll announce it.
“We have come and we will overcome.”
Tiffany Rachal, the mother of Jalen Randle, who was shot dead by Houston police officers in 2022, sang a rendition of gospel standards. total praise He received a standing ovation from the congregation and Nicholls’ family.
“All mothers around the world need to unite. We need to unite to stop all this,” Rachel said.
A montage of photos of Nichols and images from the protests following the news of his death were shown on the big screen.
Three weeks after Nichols’ death, five police officers were fired and charged with murder. Their specialized unit was disbanded. Two more police officers were suspended. Two Memphis Fire Department emergency medical workers and a lieutenant were also fired. And more discipline could come.
Wednesday, however, is Nichols, a 29-year-old skateboarder and amateur photographer who has a job making boxes for FedEx, makes friends during morning visits to Starbucks, and always says hello to his mother and stepfather when he gets home. parents! “
Nichols is the baby of their family, born 12 years after their closest siblings. According to his family, he had a four-year-old son and had worked hard to improve his fatherhood.
front burner29:49Tyre Nichols’ death and the cycle of police violence
Nichols grew up in Sacramento, California, and loved the San Francisco 49ers. He came to Memphis just before the coronavirus pandemic and got stuck. But he was fine with it because he was with her mother, Lowborn Wells, and they were incredibly close, and he had her name tattooed on her arm.
Friends who attended last week’s memorial service described him as fun and kind, smiling and quick, and often silly.
“Once this man walked into the room, everyone loved him,” said friend Angelina Paxton, who traveled from California to Memphis for the memorial service.
The beating of Nichols, who was black, occurred after police stopped him on January 7 for a suspected traffic violation. It is shown hitting, kicking, and hitting with a baton.I screamed for my mother.
Nichols’ death was the latest in a series of early police reports of the use of force that were later shown to minimize or omit mention of violent encounters.