SAN DIEGO — Instead of replaying the video of Tyre Nichols being beaten by Memphis Police, a local non-profit and skateboard brand united together so that the 29-year-old can be remembered for something he loved: skateboarding.
Encinitas4Equality, a non-profit focused on racial justice, and Elenex, a skateboarding brand, hosted Saturday’s "Skate for Tyre Nichols" at Pood's Park.
"There's a lot of mixed feelings. We don’t want to be here today. We don’t want to lose a life to police brutality. We see this too often. We thought when we saw George Floyd's murder, it would bring change, but more work must be done. It is tragic, but I will say there is beauty in community," said Mali Woods-Drake, President of Encintas4Equality.
Before living in Memphis, Nichols grew up in Sacramento, where he grew his love for skateboarding. Many skateboarders, like Ray Jones, came out to show support.
"It hit pretty close to home. It's hard because you hear about this stuff way too often. He's a skater and an artist. I felt like it could have been me," said Jones.
They are urging people to call on their legislators to end racial injustices.
"We often hear when things happen, these tragic events, whether it's the police or public officials. We don’t need them to do better. We need them to do what's right. We are looking for accountability and this to never happen again. Hopefully, they hear us," said Rod James with Elenex.
Tyre Nichols was a father, a son, and a photographer.
The groups plan to mail signed skateboards to his family in Tennessee in hopes that he will be remembered for how he lived, not how he died.
"End police brutality. Love each other. Support each other. Try to talk things out. Be more understanding. More compassion. It could be any one of us," said Jones.
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