Written by: Vaishnavi Peyyety, Red & Black Current Events
Man protest the unjust death of Tyre Nichols. (Photo Courtesy BBC News)
Imagine you are driving on a motorcycle and pulled over for “reckless driving.” As a Black man who is repeatedly profiled by the police, you start to believe the worst. Will the cops arrest me? Will I be threatened and attacked? What will happen to my family? Unfortunately, this was the reality of Tyre Nichols, a father, photographer, and skateboarding enthusiast from Sacramento, California. On Jan. 7, Nichols was pulled over for supposedly “driving recklessly.” When trying to run away, Nichols was attacked by the police, as seen in the publicly released body camera footage. He died in the hospital three days later.
Nichols moved to Memphis, Tennessee, and worked for FedEx for nine months before his passing. At his memorial service, his grandmother shared that Nichols “was one of those people who made everyone around them happy.” A truly endearing and caring parent, Nichols suffered a fate he did not deserve.
" At his memorial service, his grandmother shared that Nichols 'was one of those people who made everyone around them happy.' A truly endearing and caring parent, Nichols suffered a fate he did not deserve."
When initially confronted at a traffic stop, Nichols fled, leading the police to chase him to another traffic stop where he was confronted and taken into custody. He was moved to the hospital in critical condition, as he experienced shortness of breath after being physically attacked by police to the point where his face was unrecognizable. Following public outcry, the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office released the video of Nichols’ death. In the jarring four-part footage, Nichols was dragged from his car and struck with profanities by multiple officers. After an officer attempted to taser Nichols, he tried to run and stated “I’m just trying to go home.” Within 100 yards of the family’s home, the officers attack him continuously, kicking, punching, and striking Nichols with a baton as he grimaces in pain on the ground. Nichols yelled “Mom” as the officers beat him to death. The family attorney Ben Crump drew a comparison between this footage and that of Rodney King in Los Angeles, California. King was an African American
Protesters taking a stand in response of Tyre Nichols death. (Photo Courtesy Marketwatch)