Earlier this month, 29-year-old Tyre Nichols, a Black man who loved skateboarding in his spare time, was heading home after stopping at a nearby park to take photos of the sun setting. While driving, he was asked to pull over for a traffic stop. Within seconds, a group of Memphis police officers had his vehicle surrounded, shouting over one another with inaudible demands. Frightened and confused, Nichols complied, but he was still beaten so severely that he died in a hospital a few days later.

Yesterday (Jan. 29), civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump shared a video of the victim skateboarding before his demise: “This is how we should remember Tyre Nichols. As we seek justice for his brutal death, the heartfelt words of his family members will drive us forward and be a CONSTANT reminder of why we have to prevent this from ever happening again.” In the clip, Nichols’ family members fondly remembered their loved one enjoying one of his favorite pastimes. There were multiple clips of the 29-year-old skateboarding in different locations and doing tricks. His mother said he would wake up early on Saturday mornings, get coffee from Starbucks and head to a place called Shelby Farms to practice the sport.

Since the Jan. 7 attack, Black members of the skateboard community have come together across the country to remember Nichols and skate in his honor. Latosha Stone is a Black woman in Greenville, Ohio who founded her skateboard company, Proper Gnar, in 2012. She told USA Today, “It was just nice to see something positive instead of negative and to be able to remember him in a good light.” The outlet also spoke with Jordan Thrower, 30, a Black skateboard business owner from San Diego, about Nichols. “Everyone that I’ve talked to about it that knew him, they would just all say he was a really good guy, and he was super cool. He was very smooth on his skateboard. I think everyone is really outraged right now in skateboarding, for sure. And that’s the only lens that I’m looking at it through. Everyone’s super sad about it across the board, Black, white, everyone,” he shared.

Sixty-two-year-old Marty Grimes and his late brother Clyde Grimes are widely regarded in the sport after becoming the first Black pro skaters in 1975. Marty added, “It’s obviously a real and systemic problem. And it doesn’t matter if he’s a skateboarder or not.” Members of the skateboarding community in Memphis recently gathered to shine a positive light on his life. One tweet mentioned wanting to remember Nichols “living his best life” instead of how he was taped in the vicious police assault footage.

See related posts below.