Kamala Harris Delivers Emotional Tribute at Tyre Nichols Funeral

by Xara Aziz

Vice President Kamala Harris was one of many lawmakers, activists, family members and friends who delivered touching remarks during the funeral of Tyre Nichols, the 29-year-old Black man who was brutally beaten to death by five Black police officers in Memphis last week.

“It was not in the interest of keeping the public safe, because one must ask, was not it in the interest of keeping the public safe that Tyre Nichols would be with us today?” she questioned. “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 have been safe.”

The ceremony was marked with songs of remembrance, faith and impassioned tributes, with thousands who came to mourn Nichols’ passing, including his mother, RowVaughn Wells, who fought back tears as she reminisced about her son.

“The only thing that’s keeping me going is that I truly believe that my son was sent here on assignment from God. And I guess now his assignment is done. He’s gone home,” she said.

Several days prior, she made an appearance on CNN where she said that the officers involved brought “shame on their own families and the Black community,” she told Don Lemon in an emotional interview Friday. Her interview came just one day after all five officers were charged with murder following a physical altercation during a traffic stop in the city in early January.

“People don’t know what those five police officers did to our family. And they really don’t know what they did to their own families. They have put their own families in harm’s way,” she said. “They have brought shame to their own families. They brought shame to the Black community. I just feel sorry for them. I really do. Because they didn’t have to do this.”

Shortly after the beating, Wells reminisced about seeing her son in the hospital after he was brutally beaten. “They had beat him to a pulp. He had bruises all over,” she said of her son who she refers to as “my baby” and “a momma’s boy.”

“His head was swollen like a watermelon. His neck was busting because of the swelling,” she added. “They broke his neck. His nose was like an S. They actually just beat the crap out of him, so when I saw him, I knew my son was gone. Even if he did live he would have been a vegetable.”

She added that she has not seen the video of the beating, which Memphis police decided to release to the public Friday evening, but said she was told that it is “horrific.”

“The humanity of it all. Where was the humanity? They beat my son like a pi​ñata,”

She further revealed that Nichols had Crohn’s disease and had surgery in 2013.

My son weighed a buck fifty [150lb], he was 6ft 3in,” Wells said as she broke down in tears.

“And those men, if you combine their weights, it was over a thousand pounds beating and beating a 150ld person to death. Because that’s what they did, they beat my son to death. He cried out for me, because I’m his mother, and that’s what he was trying to [do], get home to safety.”

Memphis police chief, Cerelyn “CJ” Davis also spoke to CNN stating that the beating of Nichols, who was not armed, was “unexplainable.”

Each officer was charged with 2nd-degree murder and are awaiting trial. In the meantime, Wells says she is satisfied with the police chief’s decision to formally charge them.

“Those are the charges that I feel will stick, so I’m happy with the charges that the district attorney has set forth. I want to say thank you to the district attorney because he’s working very hard on this … as well as the chief of police.”

She concluded: “I have a lot of words that I want to say but they will not come out, I haven’t had time to grieve,” she concluded. “My son was supposed to be here today, no mother should lose their child in the violent way that I lost my child.”

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