MSNBC host Rev. Al Sharpton gave an explosive eulogy at the funeral of Tyre Nichols on Wednesday, slamming police officers and proclaiming that if the victim had been white, police “wouldn’t have beat him like that.”
He made the claim with a straight face at the Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church despite the fact that all five police officers involved in the beating death of Nichols were black.
According to video evidence, Nichols was viciously kicked and beaten by the Memphis police officers while he called out for his mother after being pulled over for a traffic stop. He died three days later in the hospital. The officers were fired and have since been charged with his murder. Video of the beating was released Friday and widespread outrage ensued.
“Well, Reverend Al, you don’t understand: how are they going to keep crime down in the black community and, at the same time not be tough and rough?” Sharpton railed at the eulogy. “Well, the same way they do it on the white side of Memphis and keep the crime down, without being rough and tough.”
Al Sharpton at Tyre Nichols' funeral: "If [Tyre Nichols] had been white, you wouldn't have beaten him like that on that night." pic.twitter.com/9If9PS8J37
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) February 1, 2023
Sharpton accused police of treating suspects differently depending on what part of town they come from and intimated it had to do with the color of their skin.
“How do you have the same department and keep crime down on one side of town without beating folk to death, but you can’t do it on the other side of town unless you feel that you can get away with it there?” he charged.
“I can’t speak for everybody in Memphis, I can’t speak for everybody gathering, but for me, I believe if that man had been white, you wouldn’t have beat him like that, that night,” the reverend asserted, unabashedly throwing the race card.
Sharpton compared Nichols to Joseph in the Bible where his brothers plotted to kill him and leave him in a pit to die and then recalled Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s death in Memphis. He also called for police reform legislation.
Rev. Al Sharpton called for an end to qualified immunity during a eulogy for Tyre Nichols: 'You want to be a tough guy? Well, let's get rid of qualified immunity & see if you learn the same manners you have on the white side of town, you'll have … on the Black side of town.' pic.twitter.com/l5NMimCuqS
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) February 1, 2023
“I come to Memphis today to tell you the same mistake Joseph’s brothers made is the mistake you’ve made. You thought you threw Joseph in a pit, you thought you threw Dr. King’s Dream in a pit, but every time you throw something in a pit, God takes the pit and raises it up and changes the whole world,” he dramatically raged.
“What happened to Tyre is so personal to me is that five black men that wouldn’t have had a job in the police department – would not ever be thought of to be in the elite squad – in the city that Dr. King lost his life… you beat a brother to death. There’s nothing more insulting and offensive to those of us that fight to open doors, that you walk through those doors and act like the folks we had to fight to get you through them doors,” Sharpton continued.
“You didn’t get on the police department by yourself. The police chief didn’t get there by herself. People had to march and go to jail and some lost their lives to open the doors for you – and how dare you act like that sacrifice was for nothing?” he added.
Al Sharpton turns Tyre Nichols' funeral into quite the spectacle: "Yes, I have books out. Yes, I have a TV show but I'm a mountain climber. I'm not gonna stop until I get to the top… God walks with me. He talks with me. He tells me that I'm his own." pic.twitter.com/XsQZEUSzdG
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) February 1, 2023
“The tape speaks for itself. They never asked this man for his license. Never asked for the car registration. Snatched him out of the car and began beating him,” Sharpton stated. “Nobody mentioned nothing about no girlfriend. Nobody mentioned nothing about — they started beating an unarmed man.”
“In the city that they slayed the dreamer,” he intoned, “what has happened to the dream? In the city where the dreamer lay down and shed his blood, you have the unmitigated gall to beat your brother, chase him down and beat him some more, call for backup and they take 20 minutes, and you watch him and you are too busy talking among each other, no empathy, no concern.”
Here is the full video of Al Sharpton’s eulogy:
(Video Credit: ABC News)
At a recent rally, Sharpton warned against violent rioting, claiming that he and others will “do it nonviolently as we always have done,” and then charged that police “want violence,” according to Fox News.
During the rally, he hammered the black officers involved in the beating as a “disgrace to our race,” and then asked, “Did you think because you was black, we wouldn’t say nothing? Did you think you would hide behind your blackness? I want to say it loud and clear that we will fight black cops, white cops, any color cops that commit crimes against us.”
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