Stepfather, brother of Tyre Nichols share emotional messages before funeral

Family and others gathered at Mason Temple on Jan. 31

The family of Tyre Nichols’ is still mourning the tragic loss of their family member, and on Jan. 31 they spoke at Mason Temple in Memphis to an audience of media and citizens of the city.

Nichols’ mother and stepfather, RowVaughn Wells and Rodney Wells were present at the church, but only Rodney spoke to the crowd.

“Keep fighting for justice for our son and my family,” Wells said. “Protect my wife because she’s very fragile right now. We need that for her and I need it too. We got a long fight ahead of us, and we got to stay strong for it.”

At the end of his message, he shouted “Justice for Tyre” three times, as other family members and local activists said it right after him as well. Jamal Dupree, Nichols’ older brother, spoke for his siblings and said he had just arrived in Memphis.

“I’m going to be honest. I’ve told my siblings since this happened, I hate Memphis,” Dupree said. “I hate coming here. My little brother didn’t deserve any of this at all but at the same time, my sisters and my brothers reminded me that y’all really got my brother’s back. I really appreciate that.

“His birthday was June 5, my birthday is June 7. That was my twin. We didn’t talk every day, but when June 5 and June 7 came around it was for sure going down with texts. That was my guy, and I’m really going to miss him. I really hate that I wasn’t here. I’ve been fighting my whole life and the one fight that I need to be at I wasn’t here. At the end of the day, I’m never going to forget my brother, and I’m going to be here for my mom, my brothers, and my sisters.”

At the end of his message, Dupree said that Nichols was one of the most peaceful people he’s been around, so there was no need to cause an uproar in support of his brother.

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