Harris to attend Tyre Nichols’s funeral
Vice President Harris will attend the funeral on Wednesday of Tyre Nichols, who died after being beaten by Memphis, Tenn., police during a traffic stop.
Harris will travel to Memphis for the services and was invited by Nichols’s family, the vice president’s office told The Hill. She will be joined by other Biden administration officials, including Keisha Lance Bottoms, director for the Office of Public Engagement, and senior adviser to the president Mitch Landrieu.
Harris on Tuesday spoke by phone with Nichols’s mother and stepfather, RowVaughn Wells and Rodney Wells, to express her condolences, according to her office. Her attendance at the funeral was first reported by The Grio.
Nichols’s death has sparked outrage and renewed calls for police reforms. President Biden spoke to Nichols’s parents by phone on Friday and said he was “outraged and deeply pained” by the graphic video footage of the incident in January that showed Nichols, 29, pepper-sprayed, punched, and kicked by a group of police officers.
The president has since scheduled a meeting with members of the Congressional Black Caucus at the White House on Thursday to discuss police reforms.
The parents of Nichols are set to attend the State of the Union on Feb. 7 after being invited by Rep. Steven Horsford (D-Nev.), the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.
The Memphis Police Department has suspended seven officers so far as the investigation into Nichols’s death continues.
The footage showed an initial stop of Nichols, where officers immediately attempted to pull him from his car and proceeded to deploy a stun gun on him before he escaped and ran away. The department identified Preston Hemphill, a white officer hired in 2018, for his involvement in the initial stop of Nichols.
When five other Memphis officers, who are all Black, caught up to him, they could be seen deploying pepper spray and a stun gun against Nichols and repeatedly punching and kicking him as he was yelling for his mother.
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