MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — Appalling, deplorable, and heinous. Those are the words civil rights attorney Ben Crump used after he and Tyre Nichols’ family saw the video of the police encounter leading up to his death for the first time.
The 29-year-old was a father, son, and avid skateboarder.
During Monday’s press conference, his family talked about his skateboarding and shared a video of him doing what he loved. His fellow skaters say his family called out to them and asked for support while they watched the video of Tyre’s final moments.
Joshua Adams was one of the skateboarders gliding across the plaza in front of Memphis City Hall Monday morning. He said he was thinking about Nichols.
“You never know if you have skated across somebody else’s tracks before,” he said.
Adams was there at the request of Nichols’ family while they were inside City Hall watching the video of the police confrontation that led to his death and the firing of five Memphis police officers.
“They knew he loved skateboarding and that was his major passion so them asking us to be here was sort of the calling,” Adams said.
He’s one of the dozens of members of the Memphis skateboarding community that came to make sure their message of support landed with the family and spurs action from city leaders.
“We felt this was a positive and hopeful way to respond to a tragedy that shouldn’t that happened,” said fellow skateboarder Joy Brooke Fairfield.
Memphis Shelby County School board member Michelle McKissack also joined the group to show her support.
“When I saw the call for skaters to show support today, I thought, ‘Well I’m a skater mom.’ I felt the need to show his life mattered,” she said.
As they took turns rolling up and down the plaza, they felt Nichols’ presence. They say this is the best way they have to honor his legacy.
“In many ways the tricks he may have done in the city, the clips he made, they’re out there somewhere,” Adams said.