MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Tyre Nichols, who died on January 10, 2023, three days after five former Memphis Police officers were caught on camera beating the 29-year-old at the intersection of Ross Road and Raines Road, was honored by family and dignitaries at his funeral service February 1.
Nichols’ funeral was held at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church in Memphis, Tennessee.
Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr., and Justin Smith, the five former Memphis Police officers which MPD said were seen beating Nichols in that video, were all charged with two counts of official misconduct, one count of official oppression, one count of second-degree murder, one count of aggravated assault and two counts of aggravated kidnapping.
TYRE NICHOLS’ MOTHER, FAMILY AND MOURNERS SAY GOODBYE
“For this to happen to him is just unimaginable,” said RowVaughn Wells, Nichols’ mother.
Nichols was laid to rest, Wednesday, at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church in Memphis.
“I promise you the only thing that’s keeping me going is I believe my son was sent here on an assignment from God,” said Wells.
Nichols’ mother, brother and siblings spoke at the funeral.
“We’re looking forward to getting justice for all the families over there, not just ours,” said Rodney Wells, Nichols’ father.
The Reverend Al Sharpton eulogized Nichols.
“Let’s get rid of qualified immunity and see if you learn the same manners you have on the white side of town,” Rev. Sharpton said. “‘Well reverend, you don’t understand. How are they going to keep crime down in the Black community and at the same time not be tough and rough?’,” Rev. Sharpton continued. “Well, they do it the same way they do it on the white side of the town and they keep the crime down without rough and touch. How do you have the same department and keep crime down on one side of town without beating folk to death, but you can’t do it on the other side of town? I can’t speak for everybody gathering, but for me, I believe if that man had been white you wouldn’t have beat him like that, that night … In the city that Doctor King lost his life, not far away from that balcony you beat a brother to death. There’s nothing more insulting and offensive to those of us who fought to open doors and you walk through those doors and act like the folks we had to fight for to get you through those doors,” said Reverend Sharpton.
LIVE UPDATES FROM FUNERAL
View the service below:
Tyre Nichols’ funeral concluded around 3:15 p.m. Wednesday.
Following the service, Ben Crump and the Rev. Al Sharpton held a press conference to answer questions about Nichols’ death investigation.
Tyre Nichols’ stepfather said that when he and his wife found out about Nichols’ death, “it was surrounded by lies and deceit.” Watch below what they had to say at their son’s funeral:
Tyre Nichols’ brothers and sisters share memories, stories and a poem in his honor:
Nichols’ brother shared the story of how Tyre got his name. He said it came from the movie “Silverado.”
One of his brothers said that as a child, Ty, as they referred to him, loved watching cartoons with a bowl of cereal.
One of his sisters said that Nichols was the baby brother, with 11 years between him and her.
Ben Crump, the Tyre Nichols’ family attorney, demands justice in Nichols’ death:
The Rev. Al Sharpton announced that director Spike Lee is in attendance along with Vice President Kamala Harris before introducing Tyre Nichols’ parents.
Watch the Rev. Al Sharpton’s eulogy in full below:
In a speech, Ben Crump, the Nichols’ family attorney, pointed out that Tamika Palmer, the mother of Breonna Taylor, was also in attendance and said that both Tyre Nichols and Taylor had the same birthday: June 5, 1993.
Taylor was killed by police in Louisville, Kentucky, on March 13, 2020, during a botched raid of her apartment.
“This is a family that lost their son and their brother through an act of violence at the hands and the feet of the people who had charged in keeping them safe,” Vice President Kamala Harris said in her speech.
Vice President Kamala Harris was brought up to the podium to speak at Tyre Nichols’ funeral. In a seemingly impromptu speech that lasted about 5 minutes, she said that if it wasn’t for the “violent act” by the Memphis Police officers, “Tyre Nichols would be with us today.”
Watch Harris’ speech below:
Mississippi Blvd Celebration Choir continues celebrating life of Tyre Nichols:
Dr. Rev. Keith Norman addressed those in attendance in a nearly three-minute-long speech.
“Look, God’s home is now among his people. He shall live with them and they shall be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes and there will be no more death, no more sorrow, no more crying and no more pain. These things are gone forever and the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new and then he said to me, ‘Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true,” Norman said while reading new testament scripture during the service.
“Our faith gives us the confidence that as we stand if God is for us, who can be against us? So today, as we celebrate Tyre’s life and comfort this family, we serve notice to this nation that the rerun of this episode that makes black lives hashtags has been canceled and will not be renewed for another season. We have come and we shall overcome in the struggle for justice for our brother Tyre Nichols,” said Dr. J. Lawrence Turner, in part, during an introduction that lasted nearly five minutes.
Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church Celebration Choir welcomed those who came to celebrate the life of Tyre Nichols.
The funeral is scheduled to start with a procession by Rev. Al Sharpton, Clergy and Nichols’ family. The Celebration Choir will then play a musical selection followed by Old Testament scriptures read. Rev. Dr. Rosalyn Nichols of Freedom’s chapel Christian Church will then hold a prayer of comfort. The Celebration Choir will play another musical selection followed by a reading of Nichols’ obituary and a photo montage. Rev. Dr. J. Lawerence Turner will then conduct the introduction of the eulogist, followed by another musical celebration by the Celebration Choir. Rev.
Al Sharpton will then give Nichols’ eulogy and civil rights attorney Ben Crump, representing Nichols’ family, will hold a Call to Justice. Nichols’ family will then hold reflections and Rev. Rodney Woodley, Rev. Dr. Earle Fisher, Bishop Marvin Thomas and Bishop Brandon Porter will all provide words of comfort. Special guests and elected officials in attendance, including Vice President Kamala Harris, will be acknowledged and then the benediction will be held by Rev. Deves Toon, the National Field Director of the National Action Network.
Just got my hands on the official program for Tyre Nichols’s funeral that will happen today. It details who will all speak and possibly any needed additions. The funeral delayed until 1pm. pic.twitter.com/8Hq5aPDL72
— Jeremy Pierre FOX13 (@JeremypierreFOX) February 1, 2023
FOX13 cameras were rolling as Nichols’ casket was rolled into the church just after 10 a.m.
A hearse just arrived at the church where home going service for Tyre Nichols will happen today at 1 pm. The funeral delayed due to weather conditions affecting travel plans. pic.twitter.com/gDkDzgjIsb
— Jeremy Pierre FOX13 (@JeremypierreFOX) February 1, 2023
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