Aug 02, 2023

Follows Calls for Justice, Accountability During Eulogy for 29-Year-Old Father’s Funeral

New York, NY (Thursday, July 27, 2023) – Rev. Al Sharpton, President and Founder of the National Action Network (NAN), issued the following statement on the Department of Justice’s decision to investigate the Memphis Police Department over possible “discriminatory policing” – including how it conducted traffic stops like the one that led to the murder of Tyre Nichols.

The 29-year-old father was beaten to death by several Memphis police officers this January, which sparked national outrage. Nichols was seen in body camera footage being restrained while officers yelled conflicting instructions to him, and later being beaten by cops while he called out for his mother. During a passionate eulogy for Nichols at his funeral, which also featured remarks by Vice President Harris, Rev. Sharpton called for the Justice Department to investigate the Memphis Police Department.

“When I delivered the eulogy for Tyre this February, I made a clear call for the Justice Department to look at the policies and procedures that led to his death. You cannot allow a police department to continue business as usual when there’s clear video of multiple officers ripping him from his car, shoving him to the pavement, and senselessly beating him to death. The National Action Network has been in constant touch with his family throughout these difficult months and supported them as we continued this call.

I want to thank Attorney General Garland, the Justice Department, and the Biden administration for hearing us. NAN will continue to stand by Tyre’s family as they fight to hold not only those officers but the entire system accountable. His death underscored why we need to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act and end qualified immunity once and for all. Until bad actors know they can lose their pension, their car, or their house for doing the wrong thing, these tragedies will only continue. Vice President Harris declared at Tyre’s funeral that President Biden would sign the Act into law as soon as Congress passed it. Now is the time to break the cycle and deliver justice for Tyre Nichols and countless others unlawfully killed by police.”

About National Action Network (NAN) 

National Action Network is one of the leading civil rights organizations in the Nation with chapters throughout the entire United States. Founded in 1991 by Reverend Al Sharpton, NAN works within the spirit and tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to promote a modern civil rights agenda that includes the fight for one standard of justice, decency, and equal opportunities for all people regardless of race, religion, nationality, or gender.

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