Tyre Nichols funeral: people mourn black man killed by cops in Memphis

The funeral for Tyre Nichols began on Wednesday morning, twelve days after he died from injuries sustained from a violent arrest and beating from five Memphis police officers.

Mourners entered the Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church in Memphis lead by a procession of African drummers, who performed before a large choir singing the hymn ‘Strength Like No Other.’

‘On this day, February 1, the first day of Black History Month, we have come,’ Reverend J Lawrence Turner said. ‘We have come with heavy hearts that can only be healed by the grace of god, fully transparency, accountability, and full legislative reform’

Reverend Turner called Nichols ‘a good person. a beautiful soul, a son, a father, a brother, a friend, a human being. Gone to soon, denied his rights to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’

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After several eulogies, a slideshow of some of Nichols’ own photographs was played. The presentation also showed a quote from the slain 29-year-old, speaking about his own photography: ‘my vision is to bring my viewers deep into what I am seeing through my eye and out through my lens’

Reverend Al Sharpton also spoke to crowds outside the Mason Temple Church of God in Christ on Tuesday night. He was joined by Nichols’ mother, RowVaughn Wells, and stepfather, Rodney Wells.

‘We are here to establish and proclaim that we are going to continue to fight this fight around police brutality and killing until we get federal laws changed,’ Sharpton said at the site where Martin Luther King Jr gave his last speech before his assassination.

‘What happened with Tyre is a disgrace to this country. There is no other way to describe what has happened in this situation,’ Sharpton said.

Protesters behind the reverend carried signs showing Nichols’ dying at a hospital emblazoned with the phrase ‘I am a man,’ alluding to the final speech King gave in support of striking sanitation workers in Memphis.

Among the guests invited to the service were the families of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, as well as civil rights attorney Ben Crump.

Also invited to attend was Vice President Kamala Harris.

This is a breaking story, check back for updates.

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