Who was Tyre Nichols, allegedly killed by Memphis police officers?

The city of Memphis and the United States awaited the release of police video Friday showing five officers brutally beating Tire Nichols, a black man whose death sparked murder charges against the officers and outrage over the latest case of police brutality in the country.

The officers were charged Thursday with murder and other crimes in the slaying of Nichols, a motorist who died three days after a confrontation with officers during a traffic stop on January 7.

Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy told a news conference that although each officer played a different role in the murder, “everyone is responsible.”

All black officers face charges of second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression.

According to a preliminary independent autopsy commissioned by the family, Nichols suffered “extensive bleeding caused by a severe beating.” The 6-foot-3 man also had Crohn’s disease and weighed just 145 pounds, his family and attorneys said.

Following Tire’s death, a clip of him skateboarding has resurfaced and gone viral in his memory. Many people have re-shared the clip via social media to honor the late father.

“Before the Memphis Police Department releases video of 5 MPD officers murdering #TyreNichols during a routine traffic stop, and that egregious video inevitably goes viral, I want to amplify THIS video of Tire LIVING the best life of the. #JusticeForTyreNichols,” one supporter tweeted on January 27.

A second person shared the same clip and added his own message. “Tyre Nichols, 29, was the father of a 4-year-old son. He loved photographing sunsets and skateboarding, a passion he has had since he was a little boy. If you want to share a video, share this one. This is how his family wants him to be remembered,” the Twitter user wrote.

Who is Tire Nichols?

Tire Nichols was a father who loved to skateboard. Mr. Nichols, 29, enjoyed photography and watching sunsets in a local park.

Nichols’ family has described him as a Sacramento native who loved to skateboard. According to the Associated Press, Nichols was the father of a four-year-old boy.

“He was one of those people who made everyone around him happy,” Lucille Washington, Tire’s step-grandmother, said at a memorial service.

Nichol moved to Memphis just before the pandemic but got stuck, according to the Associated Press. He lived with his parents and worked the second shift at FedEx with his stepfather.

Later, his mother, RowVaughn Wells, spoke about the type of person her son was. “He was a good person,” she shared. “Everything good in Tire will come out and that’s what keeps me going because I feel like my son was sent here on a mission.”

Call for peaceful protests after video release

Following the publication of the videos, President Joe Biden sent a statement in which he said he was “outraged and deeply hurt to see the horrible video of the beating that resulted in the death of Tire Nichols.”

“It is yet another painful reminder of the deep fear and trauma, the pain and exhaustion that black and brown Americans experience every day,” the president said. He asked that while the videos will cause outrage, the protesters not resort to violence.

“The images that were released tonight will leave people justifiably outraged. Those who seek justice must not resort to violence or destruction. Violence is never acceptable; it is illegal and destructive,” Biden said.

Nichols’ mother, RowVaughn Wells, from a Memphis church, even urged that families not allow their young children to view the video, which she described as “horrendous.”

He also wanted to address the five police officers accused in the case: “I am going to pray for you and your families because at the end of the day, this should not have happened.” “We want justice for my son (…). No mother should go through this.”

FBI Director Christopher Wary confirmed Friday that he had seen the video and was “appalled.” “I’m struggling to find a stronger word, but I will say I was horrified,” he added, from the Justice Department, where he appeared alongside Attorney General Merrick Garland.


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