EDITORIAL: Don’t remember Tyre Nichols by his final moments; remember him for how he lived

The hard-to-watch videos shouldn’t be the only thing people remember about him


The Eagle Eye Staff

What was originally a traffic stop for reckless driving on January 7th resulted in Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man, being mercilessly beaten by five black officers from the Memphis Police Department. He was hospitalized in critical condition and unfortunately passed away three days later.  

The heinous assault by the police officers was caught on camera and the Memphis Police released the footage on January 27th. What occurred in the videos was absolutely appalling and gut-wrenching. The officers took turns punching, kicking, and using batons to beat Tyre. He can be heard yelling for his mom as they were less than 80 yards from her house. 

The five police officers were fired, arrested, 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. 

What happened to Tyre was utterly despicable. Police officers are expected to protect and serve their community. They are supposed to keep peace and fairness. What those officers did completely taints that declaration. The Eagle Eye strongly condemns their actions and agrees with the charges against them. We stand with Tyre and his family and demand that he receive the justice he deserves. We will continue to support Tyre’s family as they navigate through this tragic event. 

The Eagle Eye would also like to take this time to highlight Tyre’s stories. He was so much more than just the events leading to his death. His family described him as a passionate skater, a father to a four-year-old son, and a talented photographer. His mother, RowVaughn Wells, described him as “damn near perfect.” They were extremely close and he even had her name tattooed on his arm. His friends described him as joyful, lovable, and kind. 

His childhood friend, Austin Robert, talked about Tyre’s commitment to skateboarding and the days when they would meet up with their friends and practice skateboard tricks until it was dark. They all remember his contagious laugh and willingness to make sure everyone was comfortable and having a good time. 

Niko Chapman, when at ten years old was only allowed to walk to the park alone as long as Tyre was there, remembers Tyre making him feel welcomed. Niko’s father ran a youth group at a local church and Tyre became a regular. He brought a lot of energy and quick wit and would visit the Chapman’s house to talk about life like coming to terms with being a young parent. 

Tyre even had a website called This California Kid where he included a gallery of bridges and railroads, pink flowers, sunsets over the Mississippi River, fields of grass and more. 

These stories barely scratch the surface of Tyre’s experiences. But, it’s clear that he lived life and he did so beautifully. It’s crucial that people are aware of what occurred, but also don’t forget to learn about Tyre for who he truly was. 

It never gets easy reporting on tragedies like Tyre’s but the Eagle Eye understands how important it is to use our platform to fight injustices. With that being said we will continue to advocate for change and justness. Tyre Nichols was a brilliant man with a brilliant soul and will never be forgotten.

Say his name.