Memphis police beating victim Tyre Nichols was ‘a beautiful soul.’
By Bobby Ross Jr. | Religion Unplugged
Tyre Nichols: In Memphis, Tenn., loved ones celebrated the 29-year-old police beating victim’s life — and called for reforms — Wednesday at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church.
“We have come with heavy hearts that can only be healed by the grace of God, full transparency, accountability and comprehensive legislative reform,” the Rev. J. Lawrence Turner said, as reported by the Commercial Appeal’s Lucas Finton, Katherine Burgess and Laura Testino.
The funeral featured messages of faith from Vice President Kamala Harris and the Rev. Al Sharpton, Religion News Service’s Adelle M. Banks notes.
Grief and goals: RNS’ Banks talks to faith leaders about Nichols’ death.
At Christianity Today, Russell Moore writes that “Scriptures denounce officials who abuse their authority to harm rather than protect the people they serve.”
‘No excuse’: As a teen, longtime Memphis minister and politician John DeBerry Jr. witnessed the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s final speech before his 1968 assassination.
I interviewed DeBerry about Nichols’ death:
“I think it is a systemic issue and that it is not a new issue. While we focus on violations of law and protocol and civil rights, and we especially focus on it when it crosses racial lines, this is especially concerning to a lot of us because all five of these officers (charged with murder) are Black.
“We’re concerned about the level of violence, the level of malice. They tased him and pepper-sprayed him and then beat him to death. There is just no excuse for it.”
This column appears in the online magazine Religion Unplugged.
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