by Alana Seldon
January 30, 2023
Say His Name: Tyre Nichols.
Over the weekend, hearts broke yet again as the world learned more chilling details into the brutal beating of Tyre Nichols by five former Memphis police officers, which led to his unfortunate and untimely death three days later.
In our collective sorrow for the loss of another young Black man at the hands of police brutality, we choose to shine a light on the beauty and positivity we’ve also learned about who Tyre was as a person.
The 29-year-old father of a 4-year-old son was a skateboarder, who also loved photography. His mother, RowVaughn Wells, said at the time of the incident, Tyre was on his way home from taking pictures of the sky.
On his Wix site which features some of his work, Tyre wrote: “Photography helps me look at the world in a more creative way. It expresses me in ways i cannot write down for people.”
“My vision is to bring my viewers deep into what i am seeing through my eye and out through my lens,” he continued. “People have a story to tell why not capture it instead of doing the “norm” and writing it down or speaking it.”
Tyre, a Sacramento guy, had only been in Memphis for a few years, arriving just before the COVID-19 pandemic. According to AP, he got stuck in Tennessee, but was cool with it because he could be with his mother.
“He was a mama’s boy,” Wells told CNN’s Don Lemon. “That boy loved me to death. He has my name tattooed on his arm.”
She said at a press conference that his tattoo made her proud because most kids don’t put their mom’s name.
Tyre was also a FedEx employee and worked second shift with his stepfather, Rodney Wells. Every day, his mom would have a meal waiting for them when they came home together on their break at 7 p.m., AP wrote.
Tyre is remembered by friends and family as “damn near perfect,” “one of those people who made everyone around them happy,” and “chill, peaceful, and laid back.”
RowVaughn revealed that Tyre had Crohn’s disease, a digestive issue, and weighed about 150 pounds. The pain in her voice as she has described her son’s personality and reflected on hearing his voice in disturbing police body-cam footage has left millions praying for peace and healing.
“I do know that he was a good person and that all the good in Tyre will come out, and so that’s what keeps me going,” Wells said.
The officers involved in the brutal attack, all Black men, are now facing a list of charges, including second-degree murder.
TV One joins millions across the world in sending heartfelt condolences and love to the family of Tyre Nichols, his friends and loved ones, and the entire Memphis community during this most difficult time of tragedy.