Livestream: Tyre Nichols funeral begins in Memphis

Expected in attendance are Vice President Kamala Harris; Tamika Palmer, mother of Breonna Taylor; and Philonise Floyd, brother of George Floyd.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Tire Nichols’ family and friends gathered Wednesday for a funeral to celebrate his life three weeks after he died after being brutally beaten by Memphis police, which has sparked outrage. raised a new round of calls for police reform.

In the three weeks since Nichols’ death, five policemen have been fired and charged with murder. Their specialized unit was disbanded. Two other officials have been suspended. Two Memphis Fire Department paramedics and a lieutenant were also fired. And more discipline may come.

But Wednesday will be about Nichols, a 29-year-old skateboarder and amateur photographer who used to work as a boxer at FedEx, makes friends on morning visits to Starbucks and always greets his mother and stepfather. when he returned home with a cheerful saying, “Hi Mom and Dad. !”

Nichols is the youngest of their family, born 12 years after his closest siblings. His family says he has a 4-year-old son and has worked hard to be a better father.

Nichols grew up in Sacramento, California and loved the San Francisco 49ers. He came to Memphis just before the coronavirus pandemic and got stuck. But he’s fine with that because he’s with his mother, RowVaughn Wells, and they’re very close, she said. He even tattooed her name on his arm.

Friends at a memorial service last week described him as cheerful and kind, quick with a smile, sometimes silly.

“This man walked into a room, and everyone loved him,” said Angelina Paxton, a friend who had traveled from California to Memphis for the memorial service.

Pastor Al Sharpton, founder and president of the National Action Network, will give a eulogy at the funeral and Ben Crump, a national civil rights attorney representing the Nichols family, will make the appeal. act. The start of service at Mississippi Avenue Christian Church was delayed for hours because of icy weather and travel hazards. The funeral program included a number of landscape photographs taken by Nichols.

Sharpton gathered Nichols’ family and local activists Tuesday night at Mason Temple in Christ Catholic Church in Memphis. The historic landmark is where Pastor Martin Luther King Jr. gave his final speech the night before he was assassinated nearly 55 years ago.

Sharpton said the family plans to hold a “formal funeral, not a marathon.”

“This is not about politics; it’s about justice,” Sharpton said. “People are coming from all over the world, and we are coming because we are all Tire now.”

Those expected to attend include Vice President Kamala Harris; Tamika Palmer, mother of Breonna Taylor; and Philonise Floyd, brother of George Floyd.

The deaths of Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky and Floyd in Minneapolis at the hands of police have sparked nationwide protests over racial injustice.

The beating of Nichols, who is black, occurred after police stopped him for an alleged traffic violation on January 7. Video released following pressure from Nichols’ family shows officers holding him him back and repeatedly punched, kicked and batoned him as he shouted for his mother.

Nichols’ death was the latest in a string of initial police reports of their use of force that were later shown to have minimized or omitted mentions of violent encounters. . Livestream: Tyre Nichols funeral begins in Memphis

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