Police brutality takes another life in Memphis

By: Isabelle Baidoo

Image taken from: Courtesy of Kris Volker

Law enforcement has failed another young black man in America. Tyre Nichols was a free spirited man, a father, and the youngest of four siblings. Nichols’ entire world revolved around his family, especially his son. Ben Crump, one of the families attorneys, stated in a press conference “Everything he was trying to do was to better himself as a father for his four year old son.”

His mother says that he had moved to Memphis before the COVID-19 Pandemic and got stuck there when everything shut down. But he was perfectly content with the situation because it meant he could spend even more time with his mom and family. Nichols had worked as a Fed Ex worker for about nine months during his time in Memphis and often skateboarded at Shelby Farms Park; this is the park he had skated at since he was only 6 years old.

On January 7th, 2023 Tyre Nichols was initially stopped by Memphis Police for reckless driving.

This traffic stop would lead to Nichols being violently beaten for roughly three minutes. Nichols was hospitalized and three days later, on January 10th, he died. The five officers at the scene have all since been fired from the Memphis Police Department and on January 26th, were charged with second degree murder for Tyre Nichols’ death.

According to information released by his family’s lawyers, the autopsy found that Nichols “suffered extensive bleeding caused by a severe beating.” Antonio Romanucci, one of the Nichols family’s lawyers, stood by Tyre Nichols’ mother, RowVaughn Wells, and stated: “He was a human piñata for those police officers. Not only was it violent, it was savage.”

RowVaughn Wells stated in a press conference that “He always said he was going to be famous one day. I didn’t know this is what he meant.”

Nichols’s funeral was held on February 1, at the Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church in Memphis. Vice President Kamala Harris spoke at the service saying to Nichols’ family “The people of our country mourn with you.”

Nichols was a lover of the arts and one of his many passions was to take photos of sunsets.

In this last quote from Nichols’ personal blog, he writes:

“My vision is to bring my viewers deep into what I am seeing through my eye and out through my lens. People have a story to tell why not capture it instead of doing the ‘norm’ and writing it down or speaking it. I hope to one day let people see what I see and to hopefully admire my work based on the quality and ideals of my work.”

All Tyre Nichols ever wanted to do was to support his family and see the sun rise and set everyday, and that opportunity was abruptly stripped away from him due to America’s deeply corrupt law enforcement system.

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