‘I will get justice for him’: Tyre Nichols’ mother speaks at son’s celebration of life in Sacramento
By Michelle Bandur
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SACRAMENTO, California (KCRA) — Following services in Memphis for Tyre Nichols, 29, friends and family in Sacramento held a celebration of life.
More than 300 people packed into the Sac Ramp Skate Park in south Sacramento to share memories and stories of Nichols.
Nichols died on Jan. 10 after being beaten by officers of the Memphis Police Department.
City leaders announced at the celebration that the Natomas Regency Community Park will be renamed after Nichols.
“On behalf of myself and in partnership with the family and Mayor Steingberg’s office, we have started the process that is going to be the Tyre Nichols Skate Park,” said Sacramento City Councilwoman Lisa Kaplan.
While family and friends expressed their love and loss, videos and pictures of Nichols played on a big screen hanging above the skate ramp.
“As soon as the news got out that Tyre passed, the love we got from Sacramento was amazing,” said Jamal Dupree, Nichols’ brother.
Holding skateboards that said, ‘Justice for Tyre,’ friends from middle school describe how their friendships lasted all these years.
“All of us formed a bond and friendship through skateboarding,” said Nick Dragonetti. “The camaraderie, the lifelong friendships we built.”
They said Nichols loved to record them in the park performing their skateboarding tricks and are thankful they can go watch those videos and cherish the time they spent together.
“He always said he felt free when he was on that board,” said his mother, RowVaughn Wells. “He didn’t worry about anything. He said his mind was free on that board.”
Wells came in from Memphis to soak up the love of Sacramento family and friends. While the focus has been on how her son lived his life, Wells said she can’t understand why he died.
“One thing really bothering me right now is my son was calling my name and I wasn’t there. I didn’t hear him to protect him,” she said.
Now, Wells is working with Memphis activists to protect other Black men and fight for police reform. She arrived with a representative from the office of Memphis attorney, Ben Crump.
“It was your love in Sacramento, that inspired our love in Memphis to seek justice until we get it for Tyre Nichols,” said Kareem Ali.
The crowd gave Nichols’ mother a standing ovation when she talked about fighting for her son.
“I promise you, I will fight. I will get justice for him if it’s the last thing I do,” she said.
The Sacramento Chapter of the NAACP is also working with Memphis activists to name a law after Tyre Nichols. It would be the Duty to Intervene law and added onto the George Floyd policing act.
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