The passing of Tyre Nichols has struck a visceral nerve with people across the world. The devoted father’s life was cut short when he died earlier this month, days after he was severely battered by members of the Memphis Police Department. The heartbreaking encounter has been viewed countless times and sparked reactions that have been shared on social media.
Former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama issued a joint statement Saturday afternoon (Jan. 28). In a tweet, they wrote, “The vicious, unjustified beating of Tyre Nichols and his ultimate death at the hands of five Memphis police officers is just the latest, painful reminder of how far America still has to go in fixing how we police our streets.” The Obamas went on to implore those outraged by Nichols’ death to mobilize for lasting change.
On Friday (Jan. 27), the day the Memphis Police Department released bodycam footage of five officers pulling Nichols from his vehicle and beating him, President Joe Biden issued a statement. He said the disturbing recordings left him outraged and pained. “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,” he wrote.
Vice President Kamala Harris joined President Biden in calling for accountability and transparency. “Tyre Nichols should have made it home to his family. Yet, once again, America mourns a life brutally cut short at the hands of those sworn to protect and serve,” in part read Harris’ statement. She added, “We must build trust—not fear—within our communities.”
RowVaughn and Rodney Wells, Nichols’ parents, have launched a GoFundMe with a $700,000 goal. As of Saturday evening, they have raised $724,220. According to RowVaughn, the funds will be used to help “cover the costs of our mental health services. It will also cover time off from our 9-5 jobs because we do not have unlimited PTO.” Lastly, the grieving parents plan to build a memorial skate park to honor his love for skating and sunsets. Across social media, users have rallied to help circulate a video of Nichols in his element, skating, instead of re-sharing footage of the brutal beating.
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My heart goes out to Tyre Nichols’ family and to Americans in Memphis and across the country who are grieving this tremendously painful loss. There are no words to describe the heartbreak and grief of losing a beloved child and young father.⁰⁰Here’s my full statement. pic.twitter.com/ghROhSGtao
— President Biden (@POTUS) January 28, 2023
Tyre Nichols should have made it home to his family. Yet tonight, once again, America mourns a life brutally cut short at the hands of those sworn to protect and serve.
I join President Biden in his call for accountability and transparency. Read my full statement. pic.twitter.com/3c2Aq3M3Xu
— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) January 28, 2023
Justice for Tyre Nichols.
There is no such thing as a good cop.
Police must be abolished.
Abolition is the only way.
This is the only video of Tyre Nichols that should be shared.pic.twitter.com/mB1xfxNvzs
— THA CAPITAL G (@THACAPITALG) January 28, 2023