US Vice President Kamala Harris will attend the funeral of Tyree Nichols, the black man who died three days after Memphis police officers brutally beat him during a traffic stop earlier this month, the White House said.

Nichols will be eulogized by the Rev. Al Sharpton at a service Wednesday morning at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church in Memphis. Family members of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, who were killed by police in Louisville, Kentucky and Minneapolis in 2020, will also attend.

Meanwhile, Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy said Tuesday that prosecutors may bring additional criminal charges against police officers and others in connection with the fatal beating of Nichols, after criticism over how Mulroy’s office and the Memphis Police Department handled the case. .

Five officers, all black, were charged last week with second-degree murder and fired from the force. The department confirmed Monday that a sixth officer, Preston Hemphill, who is white, was suspended from duty immediately after the Jan. 7 attack but has not been charged criminally.

Video footage of the fatal encounter with police was released Friday, prompting calls for local police officials and prosecutors to be more transparent about the circumstances of the incident because initial police reports did not match what was seen in the videos. .

The family’s attorney, Ben Crump, said Tuesday that police had not been clear with Nichols’ mother about the incident, which he referred to as “police lynching.”

“He thought it was a cover-up from the beginning,” Crump said on CNN.

The family gathered Tuesday evening with the Rev. Sharpton at the Masonic Temple Church of God in Christ in Memphis — where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his final speech the night before he was assassinated in 1968 — to talk about Nichols and recent developments. That event.

Sharpton said he wants the family to stand where King stood before Nicole is laid to rest. “They’re standing on that ground because we’re going to continue to the top of Martin’s mountain in the name of Tire,” he said. “So we want to start it right on this hallowed ground. This is hallowed ground. And this family is ours now and they’re in the hands of history.”

The White House said Harris was invited by Nichols’ mother and stepfather, Rowan Wells and Rodney Wells. The vice president spoke to the Wells family by phone on Tuesday, expressing his condolences and offering support. President Joe Biden spoke with Nichols’ family by phone last week.

Harris was joined by former Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, senior adviser to the president for public engagement, and White House senior adviser and infrastructure implementation coordinator Mitch Landrieu, a former mayor of New Orleans, Harris’ press secretary said. , Kirsten Allen.

After Sharpton praised Wednesday, Crump will issue a call to action.

Nichols’ death was the latest incident in which police downplayed or abandoned violent and sometimes deadly encounters after initial accounts of their use of force.

Memphis Police Department officers used a stun gun, a baton and their fists as they beat Nicole during the nighttime arrest. Video footage shows Nicole running from officers to her home after being pulled over on suspicion of reckless driving.

Nichols’ older brother, Jamal Dupree, said Tuesday he regrets not being there to save his brother from the fists and feet of five officers charged with second-degree murder and other crimes.

“I’ve been fighting all my life and a fight that I needed to be here for, I wasn’t here,” Dupree said, adding that violence was against his brother’s nature.

“My brother was the calmest person I’ve ever met,” he said. “If my brother was here today and he had something to say, he would have told us to do it peacefully.”

Nichols’ mother and stepfather have accepted an invitation to attend Biden’s State of the Union address at the Capitol next week. They will participate with Rep. Steven Horsford, Democrat of Nevada and chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, according to caucus spokesman Vincent Evans.


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