Tyre Nichols’ funeral: Mourners gather in Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Friends, family and mourners gathered Wednesday in Memphis to celebrate the life of Tyre Nichols, the 29-year-old man who died last month after he was beaten by police.

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The funeral is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. local time after being delayed due to inclement weather conditions, WHBQ-TV reported. It will be held at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church.

Attendees will include Vice President Kamala Harris, who spoke for more than 30 minutes with Nichols’ parents after his death, family attorney Ben Crump said.

Tamika Palmer — whose daughter, Breonna Taylor, died in March 2020 after she was shot by police during a botched raid in Louisville, Kentucky — is also slated to attend. Philonise Floyd — whose brother, George Floyd, was killed by a Minneapolis police officer in May 2020 — will also attend, attorneys for the Nichols family said.

The Rev. Al Sharpton is scheduled to deliver the eulogy Wednesday.

Five officers were fired from the Memphis Police Department and subsequently charged with murder, kidnapping and assault in Nichols’ death. The 29-year-old died after police detained him during a traffic stop on Jan. 7. Videos released by police show officers shouting at him and dragging him out of a car, spraying him with pepper spray and later punching and kicking him.

After the encounter, video shows Nichols got minimal medical care until a stretcher arrived more than 20 minutes after the beating. He was taken to a hospital, where he died three days later.

An independent autopsy found that Nichols died from “extensive bleeding caused by a severe beating,” WHBQ reported.

Two other Memphis police officers and two Shelby County sheriff’s deputies have been relieved from duty as authorities investigate the incident. Three Memphis Fire Department employees have also been fired.

In addition to the local investigation, federal and state authorities have also launched probes of the incident.

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