On January 7, 2023, Tyre Nichols was mercilessly beaten by rogue Memphis police officers in a South Memphis neighborhood. He died a few days later.
One year later, candlelight vigils were held in Memphis, Nichols’ hometown of Sacramento, and in other cities seeking to keep the flames lit on police reform. And at the core of all these incidents, there is a mourning mother.
“One year ago today, I lost the most precious thing God ever gave me,” said RowVaughn Wells, Nichols’ mother.
And in a moment reminiscent of Mamie Till’s choice to allow reporters to see her lynched son Emmet Till in 1955, Wells held up a picture of her son’s bruised and bloodied face.
“Y’all see this picture, y’all see this picture,” she said. “This is my son, Tyre, this happened right here where we are standing, this is what happened to my son on January 7th.”
Newly inaugurated Memphis Mayor Paul Young attended the vigil as did Chief of Police CJ Davis were also present.
TSD Photojournalist Gary S. Whitlow was on hand to capture the event. See the images below. And check back for more coverage from The Tri-State Defender.
And demonstrations weren’t just held in Memphis. In Nichols’ hometown of Sacramento, Calif., a skate park was named in his honor after his death, to acknowledge one of his favorite past times. Mourners gathered there too.