Several hundred mourners had gathered in the church in Memphis, Tennessee. In addition to Tire Nichols’ parents, siblings and relatives, relatives of other victims of police violence and numerous civil rights activists were also present.
US Vice President Kamala Harris said in her moving speech that the beating of Nichols, a 29-year-old black man, by five black police officers in early January “was an act of violence that ran counter to the police’s stated mandate to ensure public safety”. Harris stressed that “public safety” for Tire Nichols should have meant being safe in the hands of the police – not dying at the hands and feet of cops.
calls for police reform
Her call for sweeping police reform was joined by the victim’s mother, RowVaughn Wells, and his stepfather, Rodney Wells. Civil rights activist and Baptist minister Al Sharpton emphasized in his sermon that the police officers who brutally punched and kicked Nichols “may have acted differently if there had been real accountability for their actions.” You don’t fight crime by becoming a criminal yourself, Sharpton said.
The reform Kamala Harris mentioned would create a national police misconduct register to make it harder for cops to get off the hook. It will also ban law enforcement agencies from profiling based on ethnic and religious criteria. So far, the law has failed in the Senate.
Death after traffic control
Tire Nichols was brutally beaten during a traffic stop in the city of Memphis on January 7th. The 29-year-old died of his injuries in hospital three days later. The case sparked protests in several US cities and reignited the debate about police brutality.
Five black police officers involved in the operation have been dismissed from duty. became against her charged. The five men are charged with second-degree murder and aggravated assault. The special unit they belonged to has since been disbanded. Two paramedics and an ambulance driver also lost their jobs for not providing adequate care to Nichols.
mak/AR (dpa, rtre, ape)