Tyre Nichols, the 29-year-old motorist who died after a brutal assault by five Memphis police officers, will be laid to rest today. Nichols, an “aspiring photographer” and an avid skateboarder, passed away Jan. 10, three days after he was viciously beaten by police at a traffic stop for “reckless driving.”
Mourners will gather at the Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church in Memphis to honor Nichols; life and legacy. Social justice activist Tamika Palmer and relatives of George Floyd are expected to attend the emotional service, according to NewsOne. Vice President Kamala Harris will also attend the funeral. She will be accompanied by senior level Biden administration officials including White House Director for the Office of Public Engagement Keisha Lance Bottoms and Senior Advisor to the President Mitch Landrieu, CNN noted.
When is the funeral service?
The service will begin today at 11:30 a.m. EST and will be live-streamed on CBS News and other selected media outlets.
According to reports, Rev. Al Sharpton will deliver a eulogy that will pay tribute to Nichols’ life. Civil rights attorney Ben Crump will deliver a “call for justice.” Members of Nichols’ family will also speak during the service.
According to CBS News, Nichols worked for FedEx and had a 4-year-old son. The “well-loved” skater grew up in Sacramento but moved to Memphis right before the COVID-19 pandemic to join his mother and stepfather.
Nichols’ friend Jerome Neal said he touched everyone around him with his bright spirit.
“He’s a fantastic person and that’s how I really want everybody to remember him.” Brian Jang, another close friend, echoed similar sentiments.
“It’s honestly pretty devastating to see such a good human go through such unnecessary brutality, such unnecessary death,” he said.
Seven officers have been fired or disciplined for Nichols’ brutal arrest
Tyre Nichols was on his way home when he was pulled over for reckless driving, but Memphis Police Chief C.J. Davis later said there was no evidence to support the claim. Harrowing bodycam footage showed him being punched, kicked and pepper sprayed. An unofficial cause of death has yet to be released but Rodney Wells, Nichols’ stepfather, said he died from cardiac arrest and kidney failure. A report from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said the 29-year-old “succumbed to his injuries.”
The five officers responsible for Nichols’ death were fired and are facing charges of second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression. Two officers were relieved of their duties and three EMT workers were also fired for their failure to render aid to Nichols after his brutal beating.
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