Funeral arrangements set for Tyre Nichols; Al Sharpton to deliver eulogy

Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 2:06 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Funeral arrangements are set for Tyre Nichols, the man who died days after a confrontation with police.

The funeral will take place at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church on February 1 at 10:30 a.m.

Church officials say Reverend Al Sharpton will be on hand to deliver a eulogy.

Ahead of his arrival, the civil rights leader is demanding criminal charges against the five Memphis police officers fired for their role in Nichols’ arrest and death.

“They are there to uphold the law, they are not there to break the law,” said Rev. Sharpton.

Two Memphis Fire EMTs were also relieved of duty pending the results of another internal investigation.

Wednesday night, Memphis Police Chief CJ Davis issued a statement regarding the investigation.

“In light of the horrific circumstances surrounding the death of Tyre Nichols, it is absolutely incumbent upon me, your chief, to address the status of what the Memphis Police Department is doing, has done, and will continue to do in furtherance of finding truth in this tragic loss, ensuring we communicate with honesty and transparency, and that there is absolute accountability for those responsible for Tyre’s death,” Chief Davis said.

“Concurrent within that investigation, other MPD officers are still under investigation for department policy violations. Some infractions are less egregious than others,” she continued.

Family members and attorneys got the chance to review the police body cam footage Monday before it was publicly released. They also met with Memphis police.

Officials have said the footage will not be released publicly until after the internal investigation is complete.

Sharpton said firing the police officers is not enough.

“How do you excuse five trained men... five trained men couldn’t get a hold of him without beating him to death? There’s no way I would go for that,” said Rev. Sharpton.

“Our officers have taken an oath to do the opposite of what transpired on the video,” Chief Davis said. “This is not a reflection of the good work that many Memphis police officers do every day. What comes next is our defining moment.”

Sharpton says if the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice find that Nichols’ constitutional rights were violated, then the officers should be prosecuted, regardless of race.

“This is not just a professional failing, this is a failing of basic humanity toward another individual,” Chief Davis said. “This incident was heinous, reckless, and inhumane; and in the vein of transparency when the video is released in the coming days, you will see this for yourselves.”

What was new Wednesday is the U.S. Attorney’s Office confirmed this is in fact a criminal civil rights investigation, meaning criminal charges from the Federal government could be in store for all those involved in Nichols’ death.

The criminal aspect was not in the USAO’s original announcement last week.

“We are against police brutality, not just white police brutality, and police must pay for their deeds just like civilians,” said Sharpton.

During his time in Memphis, Reverend Sharpton plans to discuss best practices with other activists about how to improve the community.

“So it’s important to me to come in to do what they feel is going to help efforts in the local community, not to try to overshadow and overpower them,” he said.

Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy says the video of Nichols’ arrest will be released either late this week or next week.

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