Tyre Nichols was a loving father who enjoyed skateboarding, photography, and his mom's sesame seed chicken, per NBC News.
Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man, died on January 10, three days after being pulled over for alleged reckless driving by Memphis police officers. Police footage released on Friday (January 27) showed the officers brutally beating Nichols during the January 7 traffic stop that led to his hospitalization and death.
Nichols' mom recalled how he would always greet her and his stepfather, Rodney Wells, with a hearty "Hello, parents!"
"Nobody's perfect, OK, but he was damn near," RowVaughn Wells said at a news conference following his death.
Nichols was the youngest of four children and had a four-year-old son. When he wasn't working his overnight shift at FedEx, Nichols enjoyed taking photos and skateboarding, an activity he took up when he was six.
"That was his passion," his mom said.
Nichols also loved photographing sunsets at Memphis' Shelby Farms Park.
"Does that sound like somebody who the police are trying to say did all these bad things?" Wells said.
According to his mom, Nichols was driving home from Shelby Farms when he was pulled over by Memphis police. One of the last questions Nichols asked his mom was how she was cooking the chicken they were planning to have for dinner.
"I said I was going to sesame seed it," Wells said. "He loved it."
Nichols never made it home to eat his favorite sesame seed chicken. Instead, he was beaten by Memphis police officers like a "piñata" and in a way comparable to the 1991 beating of Rodney King, lawyers and family members said.
Five Memphis police officers — Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr., and Justin Smith — were fired earlier this month and charged last week in connection to Nichols' fatal beating.
Angelina Paxton, a long-time friend of Nichols, said his death "made me lose my faith in life and humanity."
“Bad things like this don’t happen to good people in my head. It has made me afraid of the world now,” Paxton said.
Reading about Black trauma can have an impact on your mental health. If you or someone you know need immediate mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.
The Black Information Network is your source for Black News! Get the latest news 24/7 on The Black Information Network. Listen now on the iHeartRadio app or click HERE to tune in live.