- Tyre Nichols was a father, a son, and an employee at a local FedEx.
- Sadly, the late 29-year-old died after being beaten by police during a traffic stop on Jan. 7, 2023.
- Video of the confrontation between the police and Tyre was released on Jan. 27, 2023.
The late 29-year-old, Tyre Nichols was not only a beloved son but also a father. His name made headlines after he tragically died on Jan. 10, 2023, following a traffic stop in Memphis. Following his death, the former Memphis police officers were fired and arrested. They were also charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, two charges of aggravated kidnapping, two charges of official misconduct, and one charge of official oppression, as reported by CNN.
Those five former officers include Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Justin Smith, Emmitt Martin, and Desmond Mills Jr. Video of the confrontation between Tyree and the former officers was released by the city of Memphis on Jan. 23, 2022 (see video here). Amid the somber news, below are five things to know about Tyre, his life, and what led to his tragic passing.
1. Tyre Nichols Was A Father
When Tyre wasn’t busy working at FedEx, he was busy raising his four-year-old son, per The New York Times. “Everything he was trying to do was to better himself as a father for his 4-year-old son,” attorney Benjamin Crump said during the family’s news conference, per CNN. “When he comes through the door, he wants to give you a hug,” he added, speaking on behalf of the family. Later, his mom, RowVaughn Wells, noted about the kind of person her son was. “He was a good person,” she shared. “All the good in Tyre will come out and so that’s what keeps me going because I just feel like my son was sent here on assignment.”
2. He Was A Fan Of Skateboarding
Following Tyre’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 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. #JusticeForTyreNichols,” one supporter tweeted on Jan. 27. A second person shared the same clip and added their own message. “Tyre Nichols, 29, was a dad to a 4-year-old son. He loved to photograph sunsets and skateboard, a passion he’s had since he was a little boy. If you want to share a video, share this one. It’s how his family wants him to be remembered,” the Twitter user penned.
3. Tyre Died At 29 Years Old
— Be A King (@BerniceKing) January 28, 2023
As mentioned above, Tyre died at the age of 29. Since his passing, many people have began to publicly mourn him online and in protests in the United States. Even Martin Luther King Jr.‘s daughter, Bernice King, 59, took to Twitter to share a message about the video that was released on Jan. 27. “You don’t have to watch the video of #TyreNichols being beaten by police. You don’t have to subject yourself to that trauma. It should not require another video of a Black human being dehumanized for anyone to understand that police brutality is an urgent, devastating issue,” she wrote.
Along with Bernice, Brooklyn congressman Hakeem Jeffries, also released a Twitter statement regarding Tyre’s passing. “The brutal and violent killing of Tyre Nichols by officers sworn to protect the community is unconscionable. Justice for Tyre Nichols must be swift and complete,” he wrote on Jan. 27.
4. He Is Being Mourned By His Parents
Jill and I extend our hearts to the family of Tyre Nichols – they deserve a swift, full, and transparent investigation.
Tyre’s death is a painful reminder that we must do more to ensure that our justice system lives up to the promise of fairness and dignity for all.
— President Biden (@POTUS) January 27, 2023
Along with millions across the U.S., Tyre’s parents are also publicly mourning the loss of their son. He was the youngest of RowVaughn’s four children and she publicly called him a “good boy.” She shared that on his days off he liked to spend his Sundays doing laundry and other household chores. “He always said he was going to be famous one day. I didn’t know this is what he meant,” she said at the press conference on Jan. 27. “I’ll never cook for my son again,” she added. “I’ll never get a hug from my son again. I won’t get anything from my son again, just because some officers decided they wanted to do harm to my son.”
Tyre loved his mom so much that he even had her name tattooed on his arm, she shared on Friday. “He had my name tattooed on his arm, and that made me proud because most kids don’t put their mom’s name, but he did,” the mourning mom said. “My son was a beautiful soul and he touched everyone.”
5. President Joe Biden Has Spoken About His Death
🚨President Biden just called Tyre Nichols’ parents. He talked to them for more than 10 minutes.
“He actually tattooed my name on his arm,” his mom told Biden.
“That’s what you call something special,” Biden replied.
We were in the room for the call. Here’s a snippet. pic.twitter.com/0gpfU1wmv6
— Emily Davies (@ELaserDavies) January 27, 2023
Hours before the violent video was released on Jan. 27, President Joe Biden, 80, called Tyre’s parents to offer them his support. “I do know, I lost my son in a war… consequence of a war in Iraq,” Biden said during the call (watch video here). During the call, Tyre’s mom shared the anecdote about her son’s tattoo. “He actually tattooed my name on his arm,” she told the president. “That’s what you call something special,” he replied.
On Jan. 26, 2023, Biden also took to Twitter to share his condolences for Tyre’s family. “Jill [Biden] and I extend our hearts to the family of Tyre Nichols – they deserve a swift, full, and transparent investigation. Tyre’s death is a painful reminder that we must do more to ensure that our justice system lives up to the promise of fairness and dignity for all,” he wrote.
Later, Biden released an official statement via The White House Press Office regarding his death. The full statement can be read below:
“Like so many, I was outraged and deeply pained to see the horrific video of the beating that resulted in Tyre Nichols’ death. It is yet another painful reminder of the profound fear and trauma, the pain, and the exhaustion that Black and Brown Americans experience every single day. My heart goes out to Tyre Nichols’ family and to Americans in Memphis and across the country who are grieving this tremendously painful loss. The footage that was released this evening will leave people justifiably outraged.”
“Those who seek justice should not to resort to violence or destruction. Violence is never acceptable; it is illegal and destructive. I join Mr. Nichols’ family in calling for peaceful protest. I spoke with RowVaughn Wells and Rodney Wells, Mr. Nichols’ mother and stepfather, this afternoon. There are no words to describe the heartbreak and grief of losing a beloved child and young father. Nothing can bring Mr. Nichols back to his family and the Memphis community.”
“But Mr. and Mrs. Wells, Mr. Nichols’ son, and his whole family deserve a swift, full, and transparent investigation. We must do everything in our power to ensure our criminal justice system lives up to the promise of fair and impartial justice, equal treatment, and dignity for all. Real and lasting change will only come if we take action to prevent tragedies like this from ever happening again. That is why I called on Congress to send the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to my desk. When Senate Republicans blocked that bill, I signed an executive order that mandated stricter use of force standards and accountability provisions for federal law enforcement, as well as measures to strengthen accountability at the state and local level.”
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