Mom breaks down at funeral of Tyre Nichols beaten by US cops
Tyre Nichols’ mom broke down as she paid a heartbreaking tribute to her son while thousands of mourners filled his funeral in Memphis.
Among those who paid their respects to Nichols, the 29-year-old unarmed black man who was brutally beaten following a traffic stop, included Rev. Al Sharpton and civil rights leader Ben Crump.
Several speakers used the occasion to call for urgent police reform, with Vice President Kamala Harris saying: ‘We demand that Congress pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. It’s non-negotiable.’
Nichols’ mother RowVaughn Wells tearfully told the crowd: ‘We need to pass that bill because if we don’t the next child that dies, that blood is going to be on their hands.’
Nichols died on January 10, three days after he was brutally beaten by several Memphis police officers.
As the ceremony got underway on Wednesday, the reverend remembered Nichols as a ‘good person, a beautiful soul, a son, a father, a brother, a friend, a human being, gone too soon.’
He said Nichols was ‘denied his rights to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness’ and was ‘denied [his] right to hold his son.’
Turner concluded his remarks by saying the pattern of black people being killed by police officers will be ‘canceled and will not be renewed.’
‘We’re going to overcome in this struggle for justice for our brother Tyre Nichols,’ he told the mourners.
The reverend added that the brutal attack on Nichols was ‘particularly offensive’ to the community because it was perpetrated by five black men.
‘You didn’t get there by yourself,’ he said.
‘People had to march for you… how dare you act like we didn’t fight for you.’
As he continued his eulogy following remarks from Vice-President Harris, Sharpton called for an end to qualified immunity while condemning the officers who killed Nichols.
‘You don’t fight crime by becoming criminals yourself,’ he said.
‘You don’t fight gangs by becoming five men against an unarmed man. That’s not policing, that’s punks.
‘If that man had been white, I believe you wouldn’t have beat him that night. We’re not asking for anything special, we’re just asking to be treated fair.’
Sharpton also echoed Harris’ call for the passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act as he said people would have to pay the ‘same dues’ of the civil rights era to make meaningful change.
Addressing Tyre Nichols’ family, Sharpton said: ‘We’ll be there with them when the cameras are gone, when there is no longer a story… it doesn’t matter how long.
‘We are wedded in this struggle together.’