Skaters honor Tyre Nichols as city leaders say they’ll rename Regency skate park in his honor

Ryan Wilson/AP

Chairs lined the skate ramp and the back of Sac Ramp Skate shop on Saturday afternoon for a memorial and celebration of life of Tyre Nichols.

Family and friends spoke at the event to express fond memories they shared with Nichols and to remember the 29-year-old’s positive attitude on life. At the memorial, Councilwoman Lisa Kaplan, who represents North Natomas, announced that the city would rename Regency Community Skate Park in Nichols’ honor.

“On behalf of myself and in partnership with the family and Mayor (Darrell) Steinberg,” Kaplan said at the memorial. “That is going to be the Tyre Nichols Skate Park.”

Kaplan was joined at the south Sacramento skate shop by other community leaders including Steinberg and Greater Sacramento NAACP President Betty Williams, who lauded that the “community of Sacramento came together” for Tyre.

“I’m loving the fact that this event is highlighting all of that and reminding people that we can speak together as one with one voice,” Williams said. “So that’s the importance if you get nothing else, know that he’s the man that Sacramento has come together to celebrate his life.”

Nichols, who had recently moved to Tennessee from Sacramento, was brutally beaten to death by five Memphis Police Department officers following a traffic stop on Jan. 7. He later died on Jan. 10 from severe injuries.

Latoya Yizar, Nichols’ godsister, said Regency Community State Park was where her brother started skating with his friends.

Austin Robert was a friend of Nichols for 15 years and grew up skating with him at Regency. He was happy to hear the news of the skate park being renamed.

“Tyre made that park,” Robert said. “We used to just go there and just free our minds. To, you know, get away from normal stuff that’s going on and be able to take it all out on a skateboard.”

During the memorial, Robert and a group of friends who skated with Nichols growing up shared stories about their time at the skate park, and the videos they would record.

“Without you guys we really wouldn’t know a different side of Tyre,” Yizar said on the memorial stage. “Because you are different with your friends then you are with your siblings. So we appreciate all the stories.”