Memphis prepares for Tyre Nichols’ funeral with Kamala Harris in attendance
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The funeral of the African-American Tire Nichols, whose death under the beatings of police shocked America, is held Wednesday morning in Memphis. Vice President Kamala Harris, invited by the family of the deceased, will be present.
The funeral of African-American Tire Nichols, whose fatal beating by black police officers shocked the United States, is being held in the city of Memphis on Wednesday with Vice President Kamala Harris in attendance. The ceremony promises to be political, the lawyer for the family of Tire Nichols, Ben Crump, having to launch “a call to act” against police violence.
Strong symbol, a brother of George Floyd, black forties whose death in 2020 under the knee of a white policeman had triggered massive anti-racist demonstrations, will attend the funeral. And it is the Reverend Al Sharpton, a figure in the fight for civil rights, who will deliver the funeral oration at the Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church. The service is due to start at 10:30 a.m. local (4:30 p.m. GMT).
Tire Nichols, 29, was arrested on January 7 by officers from a special unit in Memphis, in the southern United States, for a simple traffic violation, according to the police. But beaten so badly that he became unrecognizable according to his family, he died three days later in hospital.
Vice President Kamala Harris spoke on the phone Tuesday with Tyre Nichols’ mother, RowVaughn Wells, and stepfather Rodney Wells, who invited her to the funeral, according to their attorney. In a phone call he described as “emotional,” “the VP was able to comfort RowVaughn Wells and even help her smile,” Ben Crump, who also represented the Floyd family, said. .
The harrowing footage of Tyre Nichols being arrested and beaten by officers was shown last week, without cuts, by the country’s biggest channels.
The five police officers involved were fired and charged with murder. The “Scorpion Unit” to which they belonged, and which had the mission of reducing the number of illegal activities in sensitive neighborhoods by deploying more police there, was dismantled. Three firefighters were dismissed in connection with the facts and two other police officers suspended.
During the arrest, “no one showed any humanity towards Tire Nichols, and those responsible must be held accountable,” Ben Crump said.
For his part, President Joe Biden plans to receive members of the parliamentary group bringing together African-American elected officials Thursday at the White House to “discuss legislation on police reform and other common priorities”, declared Olivia Dalton, an executive spokesperson. “President Biden is determined to do everything in his power (…) to ensure that our criminal justice system lives up to expectations of impartial justice (…) and dignity for all” , she added.