Remarks by Vice President Harris At the Memorial Service for Tyre Nichols
Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, Church.
Reverend Sharpton, I want to thank you for all you do for so many. There are so many families here who have been personally touched by your leadership and your strength and your fellowship.
Reverend Dr. Lawrence Turner, thank you for welcoming us.
Keisha Lance Bottoms. Mitch Landrieu.
We are here on behalf of the people of our country and our President, Joe Biden.
And we are here to celebrate the life of Tyre Nichols.
Mrs. Wells, Mr. Wells, you have been extraordinary in terms of your strength — (applause) — your courage, and your grace. (Applause.)
And we mourn with you, and the people of our country mourn with you. And I just have — just — just — I’m going to be very brief.
Mothers around the world, when their babies are born, pray to God, when they hold that child, that that body and that life will be safe for the rest of his life.
Yet we have a mother and a father who mourn the life of a young man who should be here today. They have a grandson who now does not have a father. His brothers and sister will lose the love of growing old with their baby brother.
And when we look at this situation, this is a family that lost their son and their brother through an act of violence at the hands and the feet of people who had been charged with keeping them safe. (Applause.)
And when I think about the courage and the strength of this family, I think it demands that we speak truth.
And with this, I will say: This violent act was not in pursuit of public safety. 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 here today? (Applause.) 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.
So I’ll just close by saying this: I was, as a senator — as a United States senator — a co-author of the original George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. (Applause.) And as Vice President of the United States, we demand that Congress pass the George Floyd Justice and Policing Act. (Applause.) Joe Biden will sign it. And we should not delay, and we will not be denied. It is non-negotiable. (Applause.)
And with that, I’ll just pass through, if you don’t mind — one of my favorite verses in Scripture is Luke Chapter 1, Verse 79, which tells us God will help us to shine a light “upon those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet in the way of peace…”
Let our memory of Tyre shine a light on the path toward peace and justice.
Thank you. (Applause.)