Vice President Kamala Harris spoke Wednesday on the funeral of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols — a father, FedEx worker, and an avid skateboarder — who died after being beaten by 5 Memphis Police Division officers in early January.
“This violent act was not in the interest of keeping the public safe,” Harris stated, talking at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church in Memphis. “Was he not also entitled to the right to be safe?”
Hundreds of individuals have been anticipated to attend the funeral which was delayed because of “weather and travel delays.” The service started Wednesday with a 70-person choir singing “Strength Like No Other,” and remarks from the church’s senior pastor, the Rev. J. Lawrence Turner who known as Nichols “a good person, a beautiful soul, a son, a father, a brother, a friend, a human being.”
“We have come with heavy hearts that can only be healed by the grace of God, full transparency, accountability and comprehensive legislative reform,” Turner stated.
Mourners have been requested to learn Nichols obituary throughout a photograph slideshow which included photos of Nichols, who was crushed for 3 minutes after a site visitors cease and foot chase on Jan. 7, in line with body-worn and utility pole camera footage launched by the Memphis Police Division. The footage exhibits the officers pepper-spraying, kicking, punching, and hitting Nichols whereas he was restrained, bashing him with a baton, and capturing him with a Taser.
After the beating, Nichols was hospitalized in important situation and died three days later, having suffered “extensive bleeding caused by a severe beating,” in line with an post-mortem commissioned by his household.
The Rev. Al Sharpton, founder and president of the civil rights group, Nationwide Motion Community, acknowledged Breonna Taylor’s mom, Tamika Palmer, and George Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd have been in attendance earlier than he invited Harris to the stage.
“They know what it is to sit at a funeral like this,” Sharpton stated.
Harris known as on Congress to cross the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act as Nichols’ mom wept and applauded. That invoice did not cross within the Senate in 2021. Harris additionally spoke on to Nichols’ dad and mom.
“You have been extraordinary in terms of your strength, your courage and your grace, and we mourn with you and the people of our country mourn with you,” she stated.
Sharpton delivered the eulogy at the request of Nichols’ family. Sharpton stated Nichols demise is private to him partially as a result of the officers charged in his demise are Black. The 5 officers have been charged with second-degree murder in Nichols’ demise, amongst different associated costs, and have all been launched on bail starting from $250,000 to $350,000.
“People had to march and go to jail and some lost their lives to open the doors for you and how dare you act like that sacrifice was for nothing,” Sharpton stated throughout the eulogy.
Sharpton then invited household legal professional Ben Crump to ship a name to motion.
JUSTICE FOR TYRE NICHOLS BEGAN AT HISTORIC PACE:US is watching what Memphis does next
‘WE’VE LOST ONE OF OUR OWN’:Black skateboarders in Memphis and beyond honor Tyre Nichols
Nichols’ death has sparked largely peaceful protests across the nation and renewed discussions round federal legislation to reform policing, and whether there is a possibility for systemic change.
The Memphis Fireplace Division has additionally fired three employees for failing to offer Nichols with sufficient medical support after arriving on the scene. Authorities on Monday introduced that two additional officers have additionally been relieved of their duties.
The duty of officers to provide medical care was a key problem within the homicide trial of Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, who was later sentenced to 22 1/2 years in prison for the homicide of George Floyd.
Federal investigators have opened up a civil rights investigation and the Memphis Police Division permanently disbanded the specialized street unit the officers belonged to, which is recognized by the acronym SCORPION.
Nichols’ dad and mom are set to attend President Joe Biden’s State of the Union tackle subsequent week after being invited by the Congressional Black Caucus, who wish to meet with the president to push for police reform.
Contributing: Laura Testino, Micaela A Watts, Gina Butkovich and Lucas Finton, Memphis Business Enchantment