Today (Feb. 1), Tyre Nichols‘ family and friends celebrated his life at the Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church in Memphis, TN. With Rev. Al Sharpton standing nearby, Vice President Kamala Harris took to the podium to pay her respects to the fallen 29-year-old, and began by honoring his mother and stepfather:
“Mrs. Wells, Mr. Wells, you have been extraordinary in terms of strength, courage and grace,” she said. “We mourn with you and the people of our country mourn with you. Mothers around the world, when their babies are born, pray to God when they hold that child, that that body and that life will be safe for the rest of his life. Yet, we have a mother and a father who mourn the life of a young man who should be here today.”
The VP then condemned the acts of the former police officers who beat Nichols senselessly: “When we look at this situation, this is a family that lost their son and their brother through an act of violence at the hands and the feet of people who had been charged with keeping them safe.”
She continued: “And when I think about the courage and the strength of this family, I think it demands that we speak truth. And with this, I will say this violent act was not in pursuit of public safety. It was not in the interest of keeping the public safe… Was he not also entitled to the right to be safe? So, when we talk about public safety, let us understand what it means in its truest form. Tyre Nichols should’ve been safe.”
Finally, Harris pushed for Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice and Policing Act, a policing reform bill that was drafted by Democrats in 2021. Calling any other option “nonnegotiable,” she guaranteed that President Joe Biden will sign the bill into law.
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