Kamala Harris slams ‘violent act’ as thousands remember Tire Nichols | Nichols tire

On a somber Wednesday, thousands of mourners attended the funeral of Tire Nichols, a 29-year-old black man who died three days after Memphis police beat him following a traffic stop last month.

Nichols’ beating shocked many in the United States after it was caught on camera and sparked new soul-searching about racism and police brutality. The five officers involved have been charged with murder and other crimes.

The Reverend Al Sharpton, who delivered the eulogy at Nichols’ service, shared his anger that at least five black officers were involved in the brutal beating of Nichols – so close to where Dr Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated.

“In the town where Dr. King lost his life, not far from that balcony, you beat a brother to death,” Sharpton said.

“All he wanted was to go home,” Sharpton said of Nichols.

It was a heartbreaking theme echoed by Nichols’ mother, RowVaughn Wells, and other family members, whose moving tributes to their missing relative were also bordered by impassioned demands for action and the adoption of a stalled federal law aimed at reforming the police.

“We need to take action because there should be no other child who should suffer like this and every other parent here who has lost their children. We need to get this bill passed because if we don’t, the next child who dies will have their blood on their hands,” Wells said.

Nichols’ father-in-law, Rodney Wells, also called for justice and action, saying, “What’s done in the dark will always come to light, and daylight is justice for Tyre, justice for all. families who have lost loved ones to police brutality. or anyone.

Vice President Kamala Harris made brief remarks during the service, condemning those who argue that law enforcement is acting to support public safety in light of incidents of police brutality.

“This violent act was not in the pursuit of public safety… Didn’t Tire Nichols also have a right to be safe?” said Harris.

“Tire Nichols should have been safe.”

The Rev. Dr. J Lawrence Turner, pastor of the Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church where Nichols’ funeral is being held, began with remarks about Nichols’ character.

“[Nichols was] a good person, a beautiful soul, a son, a father, a brother, a friend, a human being, gone too soon,” Turner told the approximately 2,500 people in attendance.

“This family has endured the unsolicited, unwarranted, unreasonable, unjustifiable and massive burden of mourning their loved one and at the same time fighting for justice,” Turner added.

Early Wednesday, city officials treated the roads near the church as bad winter weather pushed back the scheduled service, with swaths of the southern US deal experiencing treacherous road conditions.

But thousands of people were still present which was described as a chance to celebrate and remember Nichols’ life, rather than focusing on the horrific way he died.

Wednesday, some gathered in front of the church with placards read “Justice for Tire Nichols,” additional calls for action after police camera footage emerged less than a week ago of the police beatings.

Attendees came from across the country for Nichols’ service.

Dan Beazley traveled from Detroit with a 10-foot-tall cross to honor Nichols and his family.

“When I saw the video footage on Friday, I dreamed all weekend about the cross here,” Beazley told Memphis Commercial Appeal.

A white hearse waited nearby, while church staff salted and sanded nearby sidewalks for expected guests.

The service for Nichols began with a procession led by the family of Sharpton and Nichols. As the funeral began, the choir members sang the 2013 gospel song, You Are My Strength.

After Sharpton’s eulogy, attorney Ben Crump, who represents the Nichols family, gave a speech calling for action.

Before Wednesday’s service, Sharpton visited the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.

“As we kick off Black History Month and prepare to eulogize Tire Nichols later today, I wanted to come to the Lorraine Hotel where Dr King was brutally killed to reflect . There must be a greater value for black lives in this country,” Sharpton wrote on Instagram.

The funeral was also attended by family members of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, victims of high-profile 2020 police killings in Louisville and Minneapolis.

Five officers were charged last week with second-degree murder and removed from duty over their alleged involvement in Nichols’ death. The department confirmed on Monday that a sixth officer, Preston Hemphill, who is white, was suspended shortly after the Jan. 7 attack. He has not been criminally charged.

After footage of the deadly encounter was made public last Friday, calls grew for police and prosecutors to be more transparent about the circumstances of the incident, given that initial police reports did not match what was seen in the pictures.

Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy said Tuesday that prosecutors may bring new criminal charges against officers and others in connection with Nichols’ death, after growing criticism over how the office of Mulroy and the Memphis police handled the case.

Crump said on Tuesday that police were not candid with Nichols’ mother about an incident he called a “police lynching.”

“She thought it was a plot to cover it up all along,” Crump told CNN.

The family had gathered Tuesday night with Sharpton at the Mason Temple of God in Christ Church in Memphis – where Dr King spoke the day before he was killed in 1968 – to talk about Nichols and the case.

Sharpton said he wanted the family to stand where King stood.

“They stand on this ground because we will continue in the name of Tyr to march to the top of Martin’s mountain,” he said. “That’s why we wanted to start this right on this hallowed ground. It is holy ground. And this family is now ours and it is in the hands of history.

Many in Memphis had taken action to commemorate Nichols, while calling for justice against the Memphis police officers who beat him.

An improvised memorial of stuffed animals and flowers mark the site where Nichols was punched, kicked and kicked by officers.

“When I heard him cry out for his mother, it broke me,” Nita Smith, a Memphis resident who visited the memorial, told Fox 17.

Deloris Burrow, another Memphis resident, added, “It was just hurtful. Just knowing what happened before I even saw the video brought me to tears.


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