HipHopWired Featured Video
Rev. Al Sharpton Holds Funeral For Tyre Nichols In Memphis

Source: Pool / Getty

The funeral of Tyre Nichols was held in Memphis yesterday.  Vice President Kamala Harris delivered remarks along with the Rev. Al Sharpton calling on officials to deliver justice.

The funeral service was held Wednesday (Feb. 1) at the Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church in Memphis, with hundreds attending. Nichols’ family was front and center, mourning the 29-year-old who died three days after being beaten to death by police officers during a traffic stop Jan. 7. Other attendees included the families of those who also lost their loved ones to police brutality, including the family members of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Botham Jean and Eric Garner who were there with officials from the city. Director Spike Lee was also in attendance along with Nichols’ family attorney Ben Crump.

Members of Nichols’ family took the podium to share their love for him. His mother, RowVaughn Wells spoke tearfully about her son. “Tyre was a beautiful person and for this to happen to him is just unimaginable,” she said. “I guess now his assignment is done. He’s been taken home.” Vice President Harris spoke at the podium, first honoring Tyre Nichols’ parents before calling out the violence and police brutality that was the source of Nichols’ death.

“This violent act was not in pursuit of public safety,” she said. “Was he not also entitled to the right to be safe? Tyre Nichols should’ve been safe.” Harris continued by demanding that Congress pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, created to increase accountability for misconduct by law enforcement nationwide, in addition to banning acts of excessive force such as chokeholds. “Joe Biden will sign it and we will not delay, and we will not be denied,” she said as Ms. Wells wept and clapped. “It is nonnegotiable.”

The Rev. Al Sharpton delivered the eulogy, forcefully calling out the five Black police officers involved in Nichols’ death. “In the city that Dr. King lost his life, not far away from that balcony, you beat a brother to death,” he said. “There’s nothing more insulting and offensive to those of us that fight to open doors than you walked through…and act like the folks we had to fight for to get you through them doors.”

He also called for an end to qualified immunity and echoed Harris’ calls for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to be passed. “Why do we want the George Floyd in Policing Act passed?” Sharpton asked. “You’d have to think twice before you beat Tyre Nichols. You’d think twice before you shoot someone unarmed.”