Sharpton says Tyre Nichols funeral will likely be 'about justice,' not politics

Rev. Al Sharpton mentioned the funeral for Tyre Nichols on Wednesday will likely be “about justice,” not politics as he, different civil rights activists and Nichols’s household name for reform to forestall what occurred in Memphis from occurring once more. 

Sharpton and members of Nichols’s household gathered at The Church of God in Christ in Memphis on Tuesday forward of Nichols’s deliberate funeral on Wednesday to face in solidarity over his loss of life and push for motion and laws to alter how Black people have been handled by sure officers earlier than. 

“We’re going to have a dignified funeral service, not a marathon, tomorrow, and let the household mourn and obtain no matter messages and the vice chairman, however this isn’t about politics tomorrow — it’s about justice,” Sharpton mentioned. 

Vice President Harris is scheduled to attend the funeral for Nichols on Wednesday. 

Sharpton and different audio system renewed requires Congress to go the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which might implement measures like requiring officers nationwide to put on physique cameras, prohibiting officers from utilizing chokeholds and declaring lethal drive to solely be used as a final resort. 

The invoice handed the Home over the last session of Congress earlier than stalling within the Senate. 

Sharpton additionally referred to as for eliminating certified immunity, which protects officers from civil lawsuits whereas performing their tasks normally. 

“We’re right here to ascertain and proclaim that we’re going to proceed to combat this combat round police brutality and killing till we get federal legal guidelines modified,” he mentioned. “What occurred to Tyre is a shame to this nation.” 

He mentioned folks from world wide have now seen a video tape of a person who was unarmed and “unprovoked” being “overwhelmed to loss of life.” 

He mentioned the officers who’re chargeable for beating Nichols and leaving him on the bottom for greater than 20 minutes with out medical consideration thought nobody would reply or care. However he mentioned “we’re all Tyre now,” and other people from internationally, together with the vice chairman are going to “get up with this household.” 

The press convention came about on the church the place Martin Luther King Jr. gave his final speech entitled “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” on April 3, 1968, the day earlier than he was assassinated. King’s speech has been interpreted as referring to some extent at which everyone seems to be handled with equal rights and protections. 

“We needed to convey this household the evening earlier than the funeral — the evening earlier than Dr. King was killed, that is the place he spoke — they usually’re standing on that floor as a result of we’ll proceed in Tyre’s identify to move as much as Martin’s mountaintop,” Sharpton mentioned. 

Van Turner, the president of the Memphis department of the NAACP, mentioned persons are bored with “lip service” and need to see motion. He mentioned activists want to remain “centered” on the trigger and be certain that Nichols didn’t “die in useless.” 

He mentioned police ought to have an obligation to de-escalate, intervene, render assist and be first rate. 

“You don’t must be skilled to be an honest human being,” Turner mentioned. “You don’t must undergo police proceedings to know if a person is sitting there, slumping down, you bought to render assist to him in order that he can dwell. I’m not a police officer, and I do know that.”