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Funeral for Tyre Nichols begins in Memphis as officer records surface – live



Al Sharpton calls police ‘gangbangers’ as Tyre Nichols family demands justice

A funeral for Tyre Nichols is underway in Memphis, more than three weeks after the 29-year-old Black man was fatally beaten by a group of police officers on 7 January. He died in hospital three days later.

Vice President Kamala Harris is attending the service at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church, where Rev Al Sharpton will deliver the eulogy and prominent civil rights attorney Ben Crump will pledge a “call to action” in the wake of Nichols’s death and the police killings of Black Americans.

On Tuesday, Rev Sharpton compared the police officers involved in his deadly arrest to “gangbangers”: “In Memphis, they wear the blue color, in uniform.”


City officials released the prior disciplinary records for the five officers who are now charged with murder, revealing that four of them had prior complaints against them.

They faced little if any consequences for their actions, according to reviews of the officers’ records, and they were praised in at least two instances, with other officers describing their actions as one-time events.


Watch: Funeral service begins in Memphis for Tyre Nichols

The Rev Al Sharpton will deliver a eulogy at the funeral for Tyre Nichols at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church in Memphis this afternoon.

Vice President Kamala Harris and members of the families of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor are expected to attend. Pastor J Lawrence Turner expects as many as 2,500 in attendance.

The service begins at 1pm central time.


Alex Woodward1 February 2023 18:58


Funeral for Tyre Nichols begins soon

Mourners are beginning to gather for a funeral service for Tyre Nichols at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church in Memphis.

The service will begin at 1pm central time.


Alex Woodward1 February 2023 18:20


Church pastor expects 2,500 in attendance

The senior pastor of Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church told USA Today that he expects the church to be “at capacity” for the afternoon funeral service for Tyre Nichols.

“I think there will be north of 2,500 persons there,” the Rev J Lawrence Turner said. “Our staff and a committed team of volunteers are working together in coordination with the team from [Ben Crump’s law firm] and the National Action Network to accommodate everyone who is coming to celebrate Tyre Nichols’s life.”

The Rev Al Sharpton, founder of the National Action Network civil rights organisation, said that he was invited by Nichols’s family to deliver a euology at the service.

“They asked me if I would come do a eulogy,” he told The Memphis Commercial Appeal. “I told them I’d be honored to do it.”

Alex Woodward1 February 2023 17:30


Members of the Biden administration to attend funeral

(Getty Images)

At least three members of President Joe Biden’s administration will attend Tyre Nichols’s funeral in Memphis on Wednesday afternoon, including Vice President Kamala Harris, who spoke with his family earlier this week.

A statement from their attorney Ben Crump said his mother RowVaughn Wells and stepfather Rodney Wells invited her.

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Former Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms – who is a senior advisor and director of the White House Office of Public Engagement – also is expected to attend.

So is former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who now serves as a senior White House adviser overseeing the implementation of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Alex Woodward1 February 2023 17:00


Memphis police ‘SCORPION’ unit had $28m annual budget

The now-dissolved unit involved with the fatal beating of Tyre Nichols operated with a $28m annual budget from the time of its creation in 2021 until it was disbanded after the release of video footage of the officers brutally attacking the 29-year-old Black man.

The Memphis Police Department’s now-former unit – Street Crimes Operation to Restore Peace in Our Neighborhoods, or SCORPION – was among highly armed and armoured local police details across the US deployed in “high crime” areas that have faced waves of criticism, scandal and allegations of abuse.

The Independent’s Graeme Massie explains:

Alex Woodward1 February 2023 16:33


Four of five officers charged with murdering Tyre Nichols had prior complaints, records reveal

Four of the five former Memphis Police Department officers charged for the fatal beating of Tyre Nichols were suspended or reprimanded in prior incidents while working for the department, according to recently unveiled personnel files.


Two of the officers were written up after failing to fill out required reports about the use of force during arrests. Two other officers were suspended without pay for traffic accidents, and one of those officers was suspended for failing to file a report about an incident of domestic abuse.

They faced little if any consequences, according to reviews of the officers’ records, and they were praised in at least two instances, with other officers describing their actions as one-time events.

Alex Woodward1 February 2023 16:00


Who is attending Tyre Nichols’s funeral?

Those in attendance at today’s service will include the Rev Al Sharpton, who will deliver a euology, and Vice President Kamala Harris.

The former mayors of Atlanta and New Orleans – Keisha Lance Bottoms and Mitch Landrieu, both of whom now work in President Joe Biden’s administration – will also attend.

Alex Woodward1 February 2023 15:30


Memphis prepares to lay Nichols to rest

A funeral for Tyre Nichols will begin later this morning inside Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church in Memphis.

Winter weather had delayed the service, which will take place three weeks after Nichols’s fatal beating by Memphis Police Department officers.

The service will begin at 1pm central time.



Alex Woodward1 February 2023 15:15


Memphis is ‘preparing’ release of more complete footage

The city of Memphis is responding to calls for the full release of footage related to the arrest and death of Tyre Nichols, including audio and video footage, which could be releaed within the “next few weeks,” according to a city spokesperson.

Jennifer Sink, Chief Legal Officer for the city, said that the “premature release of the video and audio could compromise our administrative investigation” into his fatal beating.

“The City is preparing to release these recordings publicly upon completion of the administrative investigation, which is expected to occur in the next few weeks,” she added. “Mr Nichols’ family and attorneys have been afforded an opportunity to view the entirety of the audio and video footage privately until it can be released publicly. We request the public’s patience while we complete our investigation”.

Alex Woodward1 February 2023 14:37


A question central to the fatal beating of Tyre Nichols: Why was he even being pulled over?

Footage of the fatal beating of Tyre Nichols has directly contradicted initial police reports, and an initial claim that he was pulled over for “reckless driving” was effectively retracted by officials in the wake of his death.


“I’m going to be honest with you about the stop itself. What was said was there was witnessing of what was considered reckless driving,” police chief Cerelyn Davis told CNN on Friday.

“We’ve looked at cameras. We’ve looked at body worn cameras. Even if something occurred prior to this stop, we’ve been unable to substantiate it,” she said.

All told, according to the Memphis Police Department, two different altercations occurred between Nichols and officers over the course of the stop, the latter taking place just blocks from Nichols’s home.

Here’s what we know so far:

Alex Woodward1 February 2023 14:00

Source: Independent


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