A video of Tyre Nichols “living his best life” has gone viral — as mourners attempt to drown out the “heinous” footage of the father-of-one’s fatal beating at the hands of Memphis police.
The nearly two-minute-long clip shows Nichols, 29, happily skateboarding.
“By posting this video of #TyreNichols practicing his craft I wanted to extend to him in death the #DIGNITY4BlackBodies that he deserved in life,” Mai Perkins tweeted Friday morning.
“I knew once the body cam was released, chances of wiping those images from our psyche would be impossible.
“I want to amplify THIS video of Tyre LIVING his best life.”
The clip had been viewed over 6.6 million times as of Saturday evening.
In it, Nichols can be seen trying out different tricks like the ollie and a grind and slide.
Despite failing on some attempts, Nichols hopped back on his board and tried again, the video shows.
In an interview with Al Sharpton on MSNBC Saturday, Nichols’ mom, RowVaughn Wells, said her son “loved to skateboard” and “loved to watch the sunsets.”
Camara Williams, a podcaster, attorney, and community organizer, said that she shared the video because she wanted “to display Tyre living in joy and peace.”
“I saw that and I was like, ‘wow, this is something that we’ve all had,’” Williams told Insider.
“We’ve had moments where we enjoyed the sunset, or where we were doing something that made us happy, whether it’s cutting some wood or gardening or doing something that may be unremarkable in the greater scheme of life, but it was remarkable in that it gave us peace. I felt like that is that was such a beautiful thing to capture and share.”
Nichols was known for his passion for skateboarding. Family said he picked up the hobby during his time living in Sacramento, Calif., where he lived before moving to Memphis.
Some of his friends wore “Skate in Peace’’ t-shirts to a recent memorial for him.
Shortly before his death, Nichols’ dad, Rodney Wells, told his son that he should “put the skateboard down” so he could focus on his job — but Nichols wasn’t willing to part with the board.
On Friday, Memphis police released body camera footage of the brutal assault that left Nichols mortally wounded.
The roughly hour-long footage shows five officers punching, kicking, pepper spraying, tasering and verbally assaulting Nichols during a routine traffic stop.
The FedEx worker repeatedly claimed he “didn’t do anything” as the officers yelled at him and pushed him onto the group. Nichols escaped but was recaptured just 100 yards from his family home.
“Mom!” he repeatedly screamed during the assault.
He died as a result of severe injuries in hospital three days later.
The five police cops — Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills, Jr. and Justin Smith — were charged with Nichols’ murder, as well as aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct, and official oppression in addition to second-degree murder.
They were fired from the department last week after an internal investigation found that they used excessive force and failed their duties to intervene and render aid.
The sickening footage release of Nichols’ assault sparked nationwide protests Friday that were largely peaceful, though three people were arrested at protests in New York City, including one man who stomped a police car’s windshield in.
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