Thursday, March 23, 2023
Home Crime Tyre Nichols funeral – update: VP Harris to attend funeral as prosecutors weigh more charges against Memphis officers

Tyre Nichols funeral – update: VP Harris to attend funeral as prosecutors weigh more charges against Memphis officers

by admin
0 comment

Al Sharpton calls police ‘gangbangers’ as Tyre Nichols family demands justice

Vice president Kamala Harris will attend the funeral of Tyre Nichols tomorrow in Memphis, where the Rev Al Sharpton will deliver a eulogy and civil rights attorney Ben Crump will announce a “call to action” in the wake of the death of the 29-year-old Black man.

Shelby County district attorney Steve Mulroy said that prosecutors could bring more criminal charges against police officers and others in connection with Nichols’ fatal beating.

Seven officers with the Memphis Police Department have faced disciplinary actions related to the beating of Nichols earlier this month, captured on horrifying footage that was publicly released on Friday.

Five officers were fired and indicted on murder and kidnapping charges. A sixth officer, identified as Preston Hemphill, who is white, was suspended with pay pending a hearing, and a seventh officer who was not immediately identified was relieved of duty without pay.

Nichols’ parents – RowVaughn Wells and Rodney Wells – have also accepted an invitation from the Congressional Black Caucus to attend president Joe Biden’s State of the Union address next week, and caucus members will meet with the president on Thursday to discuss efforts to revive national police reform legislation.


Vice president Kamala Harris to attend funeral

A funeral for Tyre Nichols begins this morning in Memphis at 10.30 am central time, where vice president Kamala Harris will join civil rights leaders and the families of Black Americans killed by police in attendance.

Those expected to attend the service at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church in Memphis include Tamika Palmer, the mother of Breonna Taylor, and Philonise Floyd, the brother of George Floyd.

Ms Harris will also be joined by former Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, a senior adviser to the president for public engagement, and Mitch Landrieu, a White House senior adviser and infrastructure implementation coordinator and former mayor of New Orleans, said Harris’s press secretary Kirsten Allen.

The Rev Al Sharpton speaks during a news conference about the death of Tyre Nichols Tuesday, 31 January 2023, at Mason Temple in Memphis


Five Black officers have been fired and charged in Nichols’ 7 January beating and subsequent death. Video of the beating, which was released publicly last week, shows that many more people failed to help Nichols, who was also Black, beyond the five officers charged in his death.

Two more Memphis police officers have been disciplined and three emergency responders fired in connection with Nichols’ death, officials said Monday. Officer Preston Hemphill, who is white, and another officer whose name wasn’t released, have been suspended, police said.

Namita Singh1 February 2023 05:43


Tyre Nichols’ family grieves ‘on sacred ground’ in Memphis

On the eve of the funeral for Tyre Nichols, who died days after a brutal beating by Memphis police officers just minutes from his home, his family was sharing remembrances and expressing grief.

Nichols’ older brother, Jamal Dupree, lamented he was not there to save his brother from the attack he suffered at the fists and feet of the five officers, who have been charged with second-degree murder and other offenses.

“I’ve been fighting my whole life and the one fight I needed to be here for, I wasn’t here,” said Dupree, adding that violence was against his brother’s nature.“My brother was the most peaceful person I’ve ever met in life,” he said. “If my brother was here today and he had to say something, he’d tell us to do this peacefully.”

The mother of Tyre Nichols, RowVaughn Wells listens as Reverend Al Sharpton speaks during a news conference at Mason Temple: Church of God in Christ World Headquarters in Memphis, Tennessee

(AFP via Getty Images)

The family gathered Tuesday evening with the Rev. Al Sharpton at the historic Mason Temple Church of God in Christ in Memphis — where Martin Luther King, Jr delivered his final speech the night before he was assassinated — to speak about Nichols and the latest developments in the case.

Namita Singh1 February 2023 06:20


Jim Jordan receives backlash for his remark

“Seeing something, not knowing how to help, and deciding to try nothing is just as bad as seeing something you know how to stop and doing nothing,” one Twitter user said in response to Mr Jordan’s lack of will to act.

“It’s so much easier to shrug and deny any ability to do something than it is to try. Pretty lazy if you ask me,” another added.

My colleague Gustaf Kilander reports:

Namita Singh1 February 2023 06:00


Recap: Why was Tyre Nichols pulled over by Memphis police

The Memphis Police Department initially said that Nichols was pulled over around 8.30pm local time for “reckless driving.”

“As officers approached the driver of the vehicle, a confrontation occurred, and the suspect fled the scene on foot,” police said at the time. “Officers pursued the suspect and again attempted to take the suspect into custody. While attempting to take the suspect into custody, another confrontation occurred; however, the suspect was ultimately apprehended.”

Police leadership later walked back those claims.

Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man who was pulled over while driving and died three days later, is detained by Memphis Police Department officers on January 7, 2023.


“I’m going to be honest with you about the stop itself. What was said was there was witnessing of what was considered reckless driving,” police chief Cerelyn Davis told CNN on Friday. “We’ve looked at cameras. We’ve looked at body worn cameras. Even if something occurred prior to this stop, we’ve been unable to substantiate it.”

“We’ve taken a pretty extensive look to determine what that probable cause was and we have not been able to substantiate that,” she added. “It doesn’t mean that something didn’t happen, but there’s no proof.”

The Nichols family is also skeptical of the police version of events.

“We don’t know anything other than we got to see in the video,” Ben Crump, attorney for the Nichols family, said on Friday during a press conference.

“They say he was driving recklessly. We have to see it. We certainly can’t take their word for it.”

Namita Singh1 February 2023 05:20


Memphis’ Scorpion unit among many to draw scrutiny in US

A car with dark tinted windows circles the block a few times before swerving onto the sidewalk. A handful of armed plainclothes police officers jump out and order everyone out of a double-parked car so they can search it, striking terror in the seconds before red and blue lights flash or an officer yells “police.”

A similar scene plays out in dozens of cities across the country every day.

The beating and death of Tyre Nichols by five former Memphis police officers who were members of a plainclothes anti-crime task force has renewed scrutiny on the squads often involved in a disproportionate number of use of force incidents and civilian complaints.

Memphis police officials— after initially defending the Scorpion unit— permanently disbanded the team Saturday just hours after the release of video that showed immediate and prolonged aggression from its officers.

Namita Singh1 February 2023 05:00


‘Already knew they treated my brother like animal’

Nichols’ older brother, Jamal Dupree, told CNN’s that he has not watched the police video.

“I already knew how they treated him because I’ve seen it all over the world,” Mr Dupree said. “Police brutality is nothing new. I already knew they treated my brother like an animal. They treated him like he was nothing. I don’t have to watch the video to know that.”

He said he has seen reports about his brother and thinks other people are learning about who he was as a person.

“I think people really know my brother did not deserve this,” he added. “He was not that type of person. Yeah, he was just a good guy around the board. … We want justice.”

People look on during a vigil for Tyre Nichols at Regency Community Skatepark on 30 January 2023 in Sacramento, California

(Getty Images)

Mr Dupree, a resident of California, added he feels guilty for not being there to protect his younger sibling.

“I’m 99 per cent sure that my brother has never gotten into a fight before. And the one time he got into an altercation with other humans, we wasn’t there to protect him. My brother was trying to cooperate with them,” he said.

Namita Singh1 February 2023 04:40


Has Biden done enough on civil rights and policing?

Read what our Independent correspondents have reported on the Biden administration record on civil rights.

Josh Marcus1 February 2023 04:15


Marjorie Taylor Greene equates police killing of Tyre Nichols with Ashli Babbitt

Speaking during a committee hearing, the Georgia congresswoman went on an extended tangent about Ms Babbitt being “murdered” by police.

Noting that Ms Babbitt’s mother was in attendance, 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.

My colleague John Bowden has more:

Namita Singh1 February 2023 03:50


‘Four of five police officers charged with murder had previous infractions’

Memphis media outlets reported that four of the five officers charged with murder in the case had previous infractions on their records, according to personnel files obtained through records requests.

Most involved procedural violations, car accidents and equipment.

Two of the officers, Demetrius Haley and Desmond Mills Jr, received reprimands for failing to file “response to resistance” forms after incidents involving women they arrested, according to the files.

Namita Singh1 February 2023 03:29


Al Sharpton calls police ‘gangbangers’ as Tyre Nichols family demands justice at MLK ‘mountaintop’ church

In a fiery speech, civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton compared the Memphis police officers who severely beat Tyre Nichols to a group of gang members.

“We talk a lot about the gangbangers in the street and what colours they wear,” he said during remarks on Tuesday evening. “In Memphis, they wear the blue color, in uniform.”

The activist also called on state and federal officials to pass sweeping police reforms.

Read all the details in our breaking news story.

Namita Singh1 February 2023 02:49

Leave a Comment