Los Angeles civil rights activist Najee Ali will travel to Memphis, Tennessee, to attend Wednesday’s funeral services for Tyre Nichols — and he’ll arrive with letters of condolences from Lora Dene King, the daughter of Rodney King, and LAPD Chief Michel Moore.
“I look forward to arriving in Memphis, where I will join my friends and mentors Rev. (Al) Sharpton and Attorney (Ben) 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 Monday in announcing his trip.
“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.”
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.”
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 five Memphis officers that was captured in graphic video. The five officers, who are also Black, have since been fired and charged with murder.
Sharpton, the founder of the National Action Network, will deliver the eulogy at Wednesday’s funeral. Crump, who is the attorney for the Nichols family, will deliver a call to action.
Ali is community relations ambassador for Operation Hope Southern California, an arm of the national Operation Hope.
“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,” said Ali.
John Hope Bryant, founder and chairman of Operation Hope, is sponsoring the trip, Ali said.
Release of the graphic video on Friday produced demonstrations across the nation. In Los Angeles, demonstrators gathered in downtown, West Long Angeles and Hollywood on Saturday and were mostly peaceful.
That wasn’t entirely the case Friday night at a gathering at L.A. police 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.