Family, friends hold memorial for Tire Nichols in Natomas, push for new law

SACRAMENTO – As people took to the streets to cry out for justice in the name of Tire Nichols, away from the protests, Anderson Williams remembered all the times he spent at the Regency Skatepark in Natomas with his friend.

“Tyre was just a stand-up guy, down-to-earth, very passionate, cared for others,” he said.

The 29-year-old father and Sacramento native is being remembered for his love of photography and skateboarding. Despite moving to Memphis, Nichols’ friends said he was constantly kept in touch.

It seemed Nichols had a new dream on the horizon based on Williams’ last conversations with him.

“We sat on the phone for like 2-3 hours just talking skate, talking life,” Williams said. “He was thinking of moving back to Sacramento and he just didn’t get to that point. He wasn’t able to make it back home.”

From the officers charged with his death to the released video showing Nichols’ encounter with police, people closest to him believe justice is merely the baseline.

“We need Tire’s Law to be a thing,” said Angelina Paxton, a longtime friend.

She is one of the coordinators for the memorial scheduled to be held Monday evening to remember Nichols’ life.

“We can sentence as many people as we want, but the problem will still continue if there’s nothing to hold people accountable,” Paxton said.

On Sunday, the Memphis branch of the NAACP called on the Tennessee Legislature to pass the Tire Nichols Criminal Justice Reform Bill. The push would make it a crime for an officer to fail to intervene as seen in the Nichols video.

“We like thoughts. We like prayers. We like well wishes, but we want action yet,” said President Van Turner of the NAACP Memphis Branch.

Meanwhile, protestors and activists are also demanding congress revisit the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.

For Williams, he wishes he could talk to his dearest friend one more time.

“I’d tell him I love him and we’d have to get a skate session soon,” he said.

Shawnte Passmore


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