LA Activist to Attend Nichols Funeral Wednesday with Condolence Letters

Memphis Awaits Release Of Police Body Cam Video Of Tyre Nichols' Arrest Prior To His Death Days Later

Photo: Getty Images

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Funeral services for Tyre Nichols will be at a Memphis, Tennessee, church Wednesday morning, with a Los Angeles civil rights activist in attendance bearing letters of condolence to the Nichols family from Lora Dene King, the daughter of Rodney King, and LAPD Chief Michel Moore.

Vice President Kamala Harris is also scheduled to attend the service at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church, where the Rev. Al Sharpton will deliver the eulogy and Ben Crump, a civil rights attorney and Nichols family lawyer, will deliver a call to action.

Najee Ali -- director of the Los Angeles-based Project Islamic Hope, and the community relations ambassador for Operation Hope Southern California -- will also be in attendance after flying to Memphis on Tuesday with plans to hand-deliver the letters of condolence at Wednesday's funeral.

"I look forward to arriving in Memphis, where I will join my friends and mentors Rev. Sharpton and attorney Crump for the funeral services of Tyre Nichols, whose beating death by five former Memphis police officers now charged with his murder has rocked the nation," Najee said earlier this week.

"Lora Dene King ... and LAPD Chief Michel Moore have both given me personal letters of condolences, which I will deliver personally to the Nichols family."

The 29-year-old Nichols was pulled over in a Jan. 7 traffic stop in Memphis and died at a hospital three days later from a fatal beating at the hands of the five Memphis officers -- an incident that was captured in graphic video. The five officers, who are also Black, have since been fired and charged with murder.

Ali told City News Service that he asked Moore to provide a condolence letter, and that the chief "said yes immediately. He, along with everybody else, has been moved by the tragic death of Tyre Nichols."

Ali said Moore's letter is in a sealed envelope. He said King's letter expresses "her heartfelt condolences to the family and that her prayers are with the Nichols family."

Moore, during Tuesday's Board of Police Commissioners meeting in Los Angeles, told commissioners that he sent the letter to express "heartfelt feelings of loss and frustration, and anger that his death occurred at the hands of these police officers."

The chief called the video, made public Friday, "grotesque" and "unimaginable."

"As a member of this profession for four decades, I have never seen such a clear and violent abuse of authority," Moore said.

Moore also told the commissioners he's been in touch with Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn "CJ" Davis, and that he was grateful that she moved swiftly to terminate the officers involved.

"There is no place for this, and it's just unimaginable in 21st century policing that this would happen," Moore said.

As for Wednesday's funeral service, Ali said, "Operation Hope has a Memphis office location and our staff will also be present to show our organization's support for the Nichols family and our demand for justice."

Release of the graphic video prompted demonstrations across the nation.

In Los Angeles on Saturday night, demonstrators gathered in downtown, West Los Angeles and Hollywood but were mostly peaceful.

That was not entirely the case Friday night at a gathering at LAPD headquarters. Some in the crowd surrounded parked police cars -- banging on them and smacking windows -- but no arrests were made and most demonstrators left after being warned by officers at the scene, authorities said.

Moore, on Tuesday, added that the Saturday protest in Hollywood yielded some vandalism and graffiti on businesses, and that officers recovered spray paint and devices used to shatter windows.

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