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Tyra Nichols remembered as beautiful soul with creative vision

Tyra Nichols remembered as beautiful soul with creative vision

On most weekends, Tyra Nichols would head to the city park, train her camera at the sky and wait for the sun to go down.

“Photography helps me see the world in a more creative way. It makes me express myself in a way that I can’t write for people,” he wrote on his website. His family has said that he loved landscapes and most of all loved the glow of the sunset.

Nichols wrote, “My vision is to bring my audience deeper into what they are seeing through my eyes and through my lens.” “People have a story to tell, why not capture it.”

Father Nichols, 29, was on his way home after taking pictures of the sky on January 7 when police pulled him over. He was just minutes away from the home he shared with his mother and stepfather when he was attacked in what was described as a brutal attack by five Memphis police officers, who have been charged with second-degree murder and other crimes. was imposed.

“Nobody’s perfect, nobody’s. But he was pretty close,” his mother, Rowan Wells, said at a news conference this week, moments after seeing him video His son was beaten to death. “He was absolutely right.”

He was the baby of their family, born 12 years after his closest siblings. His family said that he had a 4-year-old son and worked hard to improve himself as a father. He was an avid skateboarder from Sacramento, California, and had been to Memphis before. Epidemic And got stuck. But he was okay with it because he was with his mother, and they were incredibly close, Wells said. He got her name tattooed on his arm.

Friends at a memorial service this week described him as joyous and lovely.

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“This guy walked into a room, and everyone loved him,” said Angelina Paxton, a friend who traveled from California to Memphis for the service.

Growing up in Sacramento, Nichols spent most of his time at a skate park on the outskirts of the city. It can sometimes be a rough place for small children. But by the time Nico Chapman was 10, his parents would let him walk alone in the park as long as they knew Nichols was there.

Chapman said, “You miss people who are really kind to you, and Sor was a really kind person.” “He always made me feel really welcome.”

Chapman’s father, Curtis Chapman, ran a youth group at a local church that often met at the skate park for pizza. Nichols quickly became a regular, bringing his energetic spirit and quick wit. But away from the group, Nichols often appeared at the Chapman home to chat about lifeโ€”including coming to grips with being a young parent.

Curtis Chapman said, “What attracted me to the tire was just that โ€“ it’s genuine.” “He would talk about being a father and how to be a good father and get advice.”

Thursday was a Bible study that Nichols would attend with his friend Brian Jang. One day, the group witnessed a sermon about how the world is full of distractions. Jung said that Nichols was so impressed that he took out his flip phone and dropped it into a cup of water.

Jung said, “I thought it was awesome, just seeing her growth and her commitment.”

Jung last saw Nichols in 2018 at the food court of a local mall. The two hadn’t seen each other in a while, but Jung said Nichols came up behind her and gave her a big hug as they caught up.

Jung said, “To see such a good person go through such unnecessary cruelty, such unnecessary death is honestly very devastating.”

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His mom said she raised him to openly love everyoneโ€”unless they give you a reason not to. So Nichols was quick to make friends.

In Memphis, Nichols went to Starbucks every morning, and Nate Spates Jr. would hang out with him there. They chatted about sports or life. Spates was once with his wife when they met Nichols there, and they all talked for a few hours. Later, Spates said that his wife remarked, “He has such a good soul and spirit and a calm presence.”

Nichols worked the second shift at FedEx with his stepfather. Every day, they would come home together at 7 pm on their break, and their mother would wait for them to eat.

Wells said he offered to buy his son Jordan the popular athletic shoes, but he didn’t want them.

“He was just his own person,” she said. “He didn’t do what everyone else was doing.”

When he wasn’t working, he went to the park to skateboard and take pictures. His website, This California Kid, begins with an invitation: “Welcome to the world through my eyes.”

He included a gallery contemplating his masterpieces: the neon lights of Beale Street at night, bridges and railroad tracks rendered in black and white. He took pictures of pink flowers, sunsets over the Mississippi River, meadows, statues of Elvis. He highlights a quote from another photographer: “A good photographer must love life,” it begins.

After watching the video of her son’s death, she stands at the lectern, accompanied by her family and her lawyers, to recount what the world has lost.

A lawyer described the beating shown in the video โ€“ “that was a human piรฑata” โ€“ and Welles turned his head as he buried his face in his hands.

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Family lawyers said in the video, which will be released to the public on Friday, Nichols can be heard saying he wants to go home. He was less than 100 yards from his mother’s house.

Lawyers described the last words Nichols is heard saying – calling his mother three times.

“Oh my God,” he cried when they spoke. “Oh dear me.”

She still finds herself waiting to walk in the door every day at 7 p.m.

โ€œIt’s not even real to me right now. I don’t have any feelings right now,โ€ she said. โ€œI know my son Tire is no longer with me. He’ll never go through that gate again.โ€

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