Sacramento City Council approves naming of Tyre Nichols Skate Park in North Natomas
The Sacramento City Council on Tuesday approved the naming of a North Natomas skate park in honor of Tyre Nichols, who grew up in Sacramento and formed lasting bonds with friends at the park.
Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man, was beaten by five Memphis Police Department officers following a traffic stop. Nichols was severely injured during the Jan. 7 confrontation with police and died of his injuries Jan. 10.
At its meeting Tuesday afternoon, the City Council voted 9-0 for the naming of Tyre Nichols Skate Park at the the Regency Community Park near Bridgepork and Honor drives.
Nichols moved to Memphis from Sacramento in 2020 to be closer to his mother. He still has family in the Sacramento area. Family and friends met at the skate park in late January for a candlelight vigil to celebrate Nichols’ life.
Nichols’ sisters on Tuesday told the council members that naming the skate park in honor of their brother means a lot to their family, a way for them to remember him. He spent a lot of his formative years at the skate park.
“That’s where he discovered the most beautiful parts of himself,” Keyana Dixon, Nichols’ eldest sister, said. “Where he met a lot of his lifelong friends, and where he picked up the joy of skateboarding.”
A bronze plaque on a concrete pad will be installed at the skate park. The City Council’s vote also means the establishment of a new capital project for improvements at Tyre Nichols Skate Park with an appropriation of $20,000 from the city’s Park Impact Fee Available Fund.
Sacramento City Councilwoman Lisa Kaplan, who represents North Natomas, said the city is partnering with The Skatepark Project to make upgrades at the skate park. There was no discussion at the meeting as to what those upgrades might be.
“For future generations and futures kids to fly, find their light,” Kaplan said during the meeting. “So that he is remembered as that bright light, and that future generations can learn that we as a society can be better and do better.”
The Skatepark Project is a nonprofit organization founded by world famous skateboarder Tony Hawk. The organization has offered over 600 grants to help underserved communities create safe and inclusive places for young people to skate.
Prosecutors have charged the five involved officers, all of whom are Black, with second-degree murder, aggravated assault and other crimes in Nichols’ death. The officers — Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills, Jr. and Justin Smith — were fired by the Police Department in late January.