Shortly after Tyre Nichols’ emotional funeral service Feb. 1, a rumor began circulating that one of the officers responsible for his fatal arrest may have had a personal motive for the vicious attack.
Online, some socials media users believe that terminated police officer Demetrius Haley orchestrated the horrific Jan. 7 arrest because Nichols was sleeping with his former girlfriend. The rumor was shared by several online users including civil rights activist Sir Maejor, who claimed Nichols worked at the same FedEx site as Haley’s ex-girlfriend and “baby mama.”
He also alleged that officer Haley took pictures of Nichols battered face and sent them to his ex-girlfriend after the assault.
During a vigil outside of the 29-year-old’s home Thursday, Rodney Wells, Nichols’ stepfather, rebuked the claims.
“My son was not messing around with one of the officer’s wives. That’s just a rumor,” said Wells as he addressed the crowd, according to Fox 13.
The emotional vigil, was held steps away from the area where officers kicked, punched and pepper-sprayed Nichols to death. “Losing a son is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life and to stand up here every day and try to put on this face and all of that is difficult, but we have to do it,” Wells added.
“I have a wife I have stepchildren who need my support and I’m going to give it to them.”
As MADAMENOIRE previously reported, Tyre Nichols was on his way home when he was pulled over for reckless driving Jan 7. Memphis Police Chief C.J. Davis later said there was no evidence to support the claim.
Harrowing bodycam footage captured Nichols being punched, kicked and pepper sprayed. A report from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said the 29-year-old “succumbed to his injuries” Jan. 10.
All five officers involved; Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills and Justin Smith, have been charged with second-degree murder, official misconduct, official oppression and aggravated kidnapping.
Vice President Kamala Harris, Spike Lee and more attend Tyre Nichols’ Funeral
Memphis community members flooded the Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church Thursday for Nichols’ home-going service. The emotional funeral brought out notable figures like Tamika Mallory, award-winning filmmaker Spike Lee and Vice President Kamala Harris.
During her passionate speech, Harris demanded for change within the justice system.
“Was [Nichols] not also entitled to the right to be safe? So when we talk about public safety, let us understand what it means in its truest form. Tyre Nichols should have been safe,” she said, according to NewsOne.
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump delivered a call to action, while Nichols’ mother, RowVaughn Wells, urged for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to be passed.
The bill aims to end certain police techniques, including chokeholds and carotid holds–two forms of potentially deadly force. It also seeks to improve police training and policies.
“We need to get that bill passed. Because if we don’t the next child that dies, the blood is gonna be on their hands,” RowVaughn said, struggling to hold back tears.
Rest in Peace Tyre Nichols.
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