African American’s family Tyre Nicholswho died in early January from injuries caused by the beating during a violent police arrestsaid during the funeral that was held on Wednesday in Memphis who are focused on obtaining justice for their loved one: a 29-year-old father who loved skateboarding and photography.
Nichols was violently beaten by police on January 7, when he was pulled over for an alleged traffic violation, and died three days later. The release of several videos showing the police beating on Friday sparked protests in several cities across the United States and put a national spotlight on abuse by Memphis police.
The funeral ceremony held by the family of Tire Nichols at the Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church in Memphis was attended by Vice President Kamala Harris the reverend civil rights activist Al Sharpton and family members of other African-American victims of police brutality, such as the family of George Floyd.
If there was a constant throughout the religious service it was petitions for Congress to pass the “George Floyd Police Justice Act,” which calls for police reform.
Nichols’ mother, RowVaughn Wells, couldn’t say it more clearly: “We need this law to pass,” she tearfully urged legislators, because if not, she added, “with the next kid that dies the blood is going to be in their hands (of congressmen)”.
The ceremony began with a 70-person choir singing “Strength Like No Other,” causing many in attendance to rise from their seats.
In the center of the ship was the coffin with the body of Nichols, who died after a group of policemen beat him with batons and kicked him in the head on January 7 when he was arrested for a traffic violation.
There are currently two Memphis police officers, one African-American and one white, on suspension because they are under investigation, while there are five other expelled police officers – all of them African-American – who face various criminal charges.
In her speech, Harris recalled that in the past, when she was a senator in the federal Congress (2017-2021), she was among the legislators who drafted the “George Floyd Police Justice Act” initiative.
Harris noted that, now as vice president, she is asking Congress to pass that bill, initially introduced in 2020 and again in 2021, which provides for the creation of a national registry of police misconduct to prevent officers from being immune for their actions. actions as soon as they move to a different jurisdiction.
In addition, it seeks to reform “qualified immunity,” a legal doctrine that protects state and local officials, including law enforcement officers, from individual liability unless they have violated a clearly established constitutional right. Critics of this doctrine complain that it serves as a shield for abusers.
Harris regretted that “this violent act was not in the interest of keeping the public safe,” so he asked: “Didn’t (Nichols) have a right to be sure?”
During the funeral, Harris was seated in one of the front rows with Nichols’ mother and the family’s lawyer, Ben Crump.
The intervention that, without a doubt, raised the biggest ovations and cries of indignation from the attendees was that of Reverend Sharpton.
“Let me tell you, this man was never asked for his license” to drive, denounced Reverend Sharpton, who stressed that one does not fight crime by becoming a criminal, referring to the police.
Sharpton noted that the officers acted that way because they feel there is no accountability: “We won’t stop until we hold them accountable and change the system.”
In this sense, he defended the bill to reform the police so that officers think “twice” before shooting someone or pressing their knee on another person’s neck, as happened with George Floyd in 2020, who died because a white police officer who acted that way to immobilize him, suffocated him.
On Nichols’ case, Sharpton alluded to the fact that most of the officers were African-American: “Let’s get rid of qualified immunity and see if they have the same manners in the white part of town as in the black part.”
With information from EFE
It may interest you:
– Tire Nichols: Memphis deals with the violent and deadly arrest of a young African American by African American police officers
– How was the Scorpion Unit to which the agents who brutally beat Tire Nichols belonged and who are now accused of murder
– Barack and Michelle Obama condemned the cruel police beating of Tire Nichols in Memphis
Source: La Opinion