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Who was Tyre Nichols?

That was the first question. I asked myself after overhearing a news broadcaster release the story from the next room as I prepared dinner. As soon as they mentioned he was a skateboarder I darted in the room and turned up the volume on the TV. I caught the majority of the story, which ended with “the Memphis PD is scheduled to release the body camera footage on Friday.“ As soon as I heard that my mind assumed it would be a fairly gruesome beating. Indeed it was gruesome and horrifying, and it was the headline of every news station across America. The part that pierced my soul the most is the moment that he began to yell for his mother's aid, she was less than 2 miles away. Watching the video of Tyre being brutally beaten is heartbreaking. I thought about this incident several times over the past few weeks. For some people it may seem like any other day in America. However, I could not stop thinking that maybe Tyre and I had crossed paths at some point. Maybe on a trip to San Francisco in 2019, or a contest at the Berrics, or maybe the indoor park in Memphis. That still never answered my question, who is Tyre Nichols? I had to do some more research. I read article after article of that incident to find more information, then I found something interesting. I came across his website that showed some photos he had taken and a brief summary of his work. I came across his old video part from California, and began to watch it on my laptop with my mom peering over my shoulder as we waited for her chemotherapy treatment to start. She asked “Is that you?“ I responded “No, it’s Tyre Nichols. It seems that we could have lived in parallel universes.“ When the video ended I felt as if I had a better understanding of his personality. Tyre Nichols had a very similar upbringing as myself, we both come from single-family homes, and shared the love for skateboarding. I started to wonder if skateboarding had helped him through hard times and if it had brought incredible friendships as it has done for me. I’m sure he’s somewhere skating a smooth ground and buttery ledges. As the real one said “Roll forever.“ I believe Tyre Nichols was a respectable and lovable human being, and someone who also shared the same passion of skateboarding as I have. .

- Nollienow

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