The lawyer representing the family of Tyre Nichols has called for Congress to pass police reform in the wake of the fatal arrest.
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump told ABC News that RowVaughn Wells, the mother of the 29-year-old who died three days after his brutal arrest in Memphis, hoped her son’s death would lead to a “greater good” coming from it.
“It’s still very emotional. His mother is having problems sleeping. But she continues to pray with the understanding, as she believes in her heart, Tyre was sent here for an assignment and that there’s going to be greater good that comes from this tragedy,” Mr Crump said on Sunday’s This Week programme.
And Mr Crump said that the family want to “have the House also push efforts to get police reform because without federal police reform, I think we’re going to continue to see these hashtags proliferate so much…that we can’t keep up with them.”
Mr Crump also addressed the fact that the five officers charged with murder are all Black.
“You know, as I’ve said, I believe it’s part of the institutionalized police culture that makes it somehow allowed that they can use this type of excessive force and brutality against people of color. And it doesn’t matter if the officers are black, Hispanic, or white, it’s part of the culture, this biased culture that said this is allowed,” he said.
“And so just as much as those officers are responsible for the death of Tyre Nichols, so is the implicit, biased police culture that exists in America.”
Ben Crump, attorney for Tyre Nichols family, renews push for Congress to pass George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) January 29, 2023
“Without federal police reform, I think we're going to continue to see these hashtags proliferate so much that we can’t keep up with them.” https://t.co/NAjFDd8bZt pic.twitter.com/zINlBazWOq
Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr., and Justin Smith have been charged with second-degree murder. The officers were fired last week after an investigation into Mr Nichols’ death.
The former officers are each facing additional charges, which are aggravated assault – acting in concert; aggravated kidnapping; official misconduct and official oppression, according to the Shelby County District Attorney’s office.
The police department announced the firing of the officers on 20 January.
Video of the violent confrontation between officers from the now disbanded “Scorpion” unit and 29-year-old Nichols, during which officers can be seen punching him and using batons and taser weapons to subdue him as he cried out for his mother.
The officers were then seen standing around after the attack and failing to provide any medical care as they laughed and joked about their roles in the shocking arrest.