People around the US are mourning the loss of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols after he was killed several days after a confrontation with police during a traffic stop in Memphis, Tennessee.
The five Memphis police officers have been charged with second-degree murder.
It is yet another reminder of police brutality in the US.
But Nichols’ family and friends are urging the public to remember their beloved son, brother, and father as the free-spirited, skateboard-loving, family man that he was.
After learning to skate at the age of six, Nichols found joy in skateboarding and spent much of his free time doing so at parks.
Sign up for our free Indy100 weekly newsletter
“He was his own person and didn’t care if he didn’t fit into what a traditional Black man was supposed to be in California,” Nichols’ friend, Angelina Paxton told The Commercial Appeal.
“He had such a free spirit and skating gave him his wings,” Paxton added.
Following his death, a YouTube video montage of Nichols skating went viral on social media.
\u201cBefore the Memphis Police Dept. releases the video of 5 MPD officers murdering #TyreNichols during a routine traffic stop, and that heinous video inevitably goes viral, I want to amplify THIS video of Tyre LIVING his best life. \ud83d\udef9\ud83d\udc51\ud83d\ude4f\ud83c\udfff\ud83d\ude14\u270a\ud83c\udfff \n#JusticeForTyreNichols \n\ud83c\udfa5: Austin Dean\u201d— \ud83c\udf3aMai Perkins\u2728TWNE \ud83d\udcd6\u270d\ud83c\udfff\u2728 (@\ud83c\udf3aMai Perkins\u2728TWNE \ud83d\udcd6\u270d\ud83c\udfff\u2728) 1674764625
In it, Nichols can be seen performing tricks like kickflips, bubble flips, and more.
Now, the skating community in Memphis and around the US are coming together to remember Nichols and advocate for him and his family through peaceful protests.
Earlier this week, skateboarders in Memphis skated outside of City Hall, holding signs that said “skaters for Tyre,” “justice for Tyre,” and “skaters for justice” according to WREG New Channel 3.
Thursday night Nichols’ family and supporters joined for a candlelight vigil and prayer service at a Memphis skate park as well, per AP.
The five police officers being accused of playing a role in Nichols’ violent death are facing charges of second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct, and official oppression.
Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.