Memphians Rally to Celebrate Tyre Nichols' Birthday
A few hundred supporters gathered in downtown Memphis Monday evening to celebrate what would have been Tyre Nichols' 30th birthday.
He died before reaching the milestone in January, three days after Memphis police officers were captured on video footage beating him in the aftermath of an alleged traffic stop.
Some honored Nichols by taking to their skateboards in the street in front of Fourth Bluff Park. Nichols developed a love for the sport in his teenage years.
His stepfather Rodney Wells told the crowd he was touched by their enthusiasm.
“This is so beautiful. We got guys out there on the skateboards – falling and crashing,” he said with a laugh. “But you know that’s what Tyre Nichols did – falled and crashed. But he always got back up. He got back up with a smile on his face.”
Nichols’ mother, RowVaughn Wells, also said the tributes to her son were moving and shared she had become overcome with emotion earlier in the day.
Amidst the event's lively performances, singing and dancing, lawyers for Nichols’ family told those gathered they were still seeking justice for Nichols’ death.
Five former Memphis Police officers have been charged with second degree murder and the family has filed a $550 million dollar lawsuit against the city.
Although organizers have yet to announce a location, plans are also underway to build a regional skate park in Memphis in Nichols’ name.