Tyre Nichols’ mom speaks at Memphis vigil

A vigil was held at a skatepark in Memphis to remember Tyre Nichols on the day the five officers accused of beating him were arrested.
Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 9:58 PM CST
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Activists, community leaders and family spoke at a vigil held in Memphis Thursday night for Tyre Nichols.

The vigil was at a skatepark since his family said he loved to skateboard. They also said he enjoyed photography and sunsets and was overall a good kid.

They said they are devastated that he is not coming home.

Our family is grief-stricken right now,” Nichols’ mom said. “This is very hard to swallow.”

Ravaughn Wells, Nichols’ mom, said she could not watch more than a minute of body camera footage that showed the beating that led to her son’s death. The family’s attorneys said it shows the beating that led to her son’s death.

“When that tape comes out tomorrow, it is going to be horrific,” she said.

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation director David Rausch has seen the video in full. He said he is “sickened” and “appalled” by it.

“What happened here does not at all reflect proper policing,” Rausch said. “This was wrong. This was criminal.”

Five officers are now facing several charges including second-degree murder.

“I would just caution the public to reserve judgement,” attorney Blake Ballin said.

Ballin is an attorney for one of the former officers, Desmond Mills Jr.

“What I have learned so far is that he is known not only here locally but back where he is from in Connecticut as a gentle, respectful father, a family man,” Ballin said.

Ballin and another attorney, William Massey, said none of the officers intended for Nichols to die. Massey is representing former officer Emmitt Martin.

“It is probably one of their worst fears that something like this would happen on their watch,” Massey said.

While unrest is expected Nichols mom has one request.

“If you guys here are for me and Tyre, you will protest peacefully,” Wells said.