As previously reported by REVOLT, on Jan. 7, Tyre Nichols was pulled over by several members of the Memphis Police Department while driving home from taking photos of the sunset at a nearby park. During the confrontation, the officers, who were in unmarked vehicles, gave the 29-year-old over 70 contradictory commands in under 15 minutes. After being brutally beaten by the cops, the young father died from his injuries days later.
Last week, Desert X organizers shared that Nichols’ photography will be presented at an exhibition in Palm Springs, California. Co-curator Diana Campbell said she hopes his work will inspire “new ways to build healing cultures that embrace and protect [biodiversity] and open opportunities for joy and hope anchored in justice.” She continued, “These works of art bring to light the forces that we exert on the world: How we design our environments, how we live, and how the messages we put out in the world reinforce systems that might or might not be beneficial for us.” The art installation, which features other talented creators, kicked off on Saturday (March 4) and runs through May 7.
In related news, one of the emergency responders who arrived on the scene to treat Nichols after the violent altercation recently accused the officers of denying him the chance to save the victim’s life. On Friday (March 3), former Memphis Fire Department EMT Robert Long told the Tennessee Emergency Medical Services Board that he and another responder observed visible signs of trauma on Nichols, including a knot on his head, a busted lip and a bloody nose. Long said at one point, “MPD is leaning over the patient in his face saying loudly that the patient is not going anywhere and that they are not going to uncuff him, impeding patient care.”
Since Nichols’ death, five Black officers — Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith — have been fired and charged with second-degree murder, two counts of official misconduct, two counts of aggravated kidnapping, one count of official oppression and one count of aggravated assault. Tributes, such as a skatepark in Nichols’ honor, have also been announced since his passing.