Tyre Nichols updates: Mourners honour ‘beautiful person’ at Memphis funeral as family urges Congress to act

‘We mourn with you’: Kamala Harris gives passionate speech at Tyre Nichols’ funeral

A funeral for Tyre Nichols is underway in Memphis, more than three weeks after the 29-year-old Black man was fatally beaten by a group of police officers on 7 January. He died in hospital three days later.

Vice President Kamala Harris addressed the congregation at at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church, where Rev Al Sharpton also delivered the eulogy and prominent civil rights attorney Ben Crump issued a “call to action” in the wake of Nichols’s death and the police killings of Black Americans.

Rev Sharpton condemned the actions of the Black officers who are charged with Nichols’s murder, arguing that the sacrifies of civil rights leaders like Dr Martin Luther King Jr paved the way for their public service.

“People had to march and go to jail and some people lost their lives to open the doors for you. How dare you act like that sacrifice was for nothing?” he said.

City officials released the prior disciplinary records for the five officers who are now charged with murder, revealing that four of them had prior complaints against them.


Full story: Kamala Harris speaks at Tyre Nichols funeral in Memphis calling on Congress to pass police reform legislation

Vice President Kamala Harris urged Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, bipartisan police reform legislation that passed the House of Representatives in 2021 but stalled in a deadlocked Senate with Republican opposition.

The bill, named in honour of the Black man who was murdered by Minneapolis police officers in 2020, was co-authored by then-Senator Harris.

“Let the memory of Tyre shine a light on the path toward peace and justice,” Ms Harris said in her brief remarks.

Alex Woodward2 February 2023 09:00


‘We mourn with you’: Kamala Harris gives passionate speech at Tyre Nichols’s funeral

Vice President Kamala Harris was invited to attend the funeral of Tyre Nichols by his mother and stepfather, and the Rev Al Sharpton invited her to address the congregation gathered in Memphis on Wednesday.

She told his parents that “the people of our country mourn with you” and praised them for their “strength, courage, and grace”.

‘We mourn with you’: Kamala Harris gives passionate speech at Tyre Nichols’ funeral

Alex Woodward2 February 2023 08:00


‘Blood on their hands’: Tyre Nichols’ mother warns lawmakers against blocking George Floyd bill

Wednesday’s funeral for Tyre Nichols in Memphis saw a re-energised call for the passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, federal legislation that was passed by the House of Representatives in 2021 but has otherwise stalled in Congress.

Tyre Nichol’s mother says ‘blood on the hands’ of those who don’t pass George Floyd bill

Alex Woodward2 February 2023 07:00


‘The police are not always telling the whole truth’

“Police are partisan actors just like everyone else in power,” writes The Independent’s Josh Marcus, reflecting on his coverage of policing and criminal justice. “It’s vital to take their claims with a grain of salt.”

Alex Woodward2 February 2023 05:00


‘Elite’ police units in spotlight after brutal killing by Scorpion officers

Memphis Police Department’s now-disbanded SCORPION unit – which stands for “Street Crimes Operation to Restore Peace in Our Neighborhoods” – was introduced in October 2021. It was dissolved in the aftermath of Tyre Nichols’s death.

The Independent’s Graeme Massie examines several similar controversial units in departments across the US that have been accused of abuse and excessive force.

Alex Woodward2 February 2023 03:00


Marjorie Taylor Greene compares Tyre Nichols’ beating to shooting of Capitol rioter Ashli Babbitt

Far-right congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene invoked the fatal shooting of Capitol rioter Ashli Babbitt after the mention of Tyre Nichols, who was fatally beaten by police.

She then suggested that people who have been jailed for their roles in the insurrection are facing “civil rights abuse” in jail.

Ms Greene went on to say that Congress was doing nothing to address the treatment of other participants in the attack, many of whom remain incarcerated ahead of their respective trials.

There’s a simple reason for that: Ms Babbitt was part of a crowd that was actively trying to breach a door that had been barricaded in a restricted area. She was shot by an officer while attempting to climb through a window that her fellow rioters had broken. Federal prosecutors have closed the case and the officer was cleared of wrondoing.

Alex Woodward2 February 2023 02:00


Initial Memphis police report falsely claims Tyre Nichols ‘fought’ officers

A leaked incident report on Tyre Nichols’ arrest and fatal beating by Memphis police officers contains glaring inaccuracies that were later exposed after the release of bodycam and surveillance footage.

The report, written two hours after Nichols’ beating on 7 January, claimed that the 29-year-old was “irate” and refused lawful detention, tried to start a fight with officers, and also attempted to take an officer’s gun, during an initial traffic stop.

Alex Woodward2 February 2023 01:00


ICYMI: Four of five officers charged with murdering Tyre Nichols had prior complaints, records reveal

Four of the five former Memphis Police Department officers charged for the fatal beating of Tyre Nichols were suspended or reprimanded in prior incidents while working for the department, according to recently unveiled personnel files.

The officers faced little if any consequences, according to the city’s records of their cases, and they were praised in at least two instances, with other officers describing their actions as one-time events.

Alex Woodward2 February 2023 00:00


Watch: Daughter of Rodney King reacts to video of Tyre Nichols

‘They run because they fear for their lives’: Daughter of Rodney King reacts to video of Tyre Nichols

Alex Woodward1 February 2023 23:45


‘I’m Just Trying to Go Home’

LaToya Yizar, who says her mother was Tyre Nichols’ godmother, read a poem at his funeral invoking the words he told officers the night he was beaten.

From the lectern at Mississippi Boulevard Baptist Church in Memphis, she read “I’m Just Trying to Go Home”.

In his eulogy, the Rev Al Sharpton said that “home is not just a place.”

“Home is where you are at peace. Home is where you don’t have to keep your dukes up. Home is where you’re not vulnerable,” he said. “Home is where everything is all right.”

Alex Woodward1 February 2023 22:41

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