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Tony Hawk donates to Tyre Nichols memorial fund to build a skatepark in his honor

The pictures, each sold for $30, are up on his website. Only 1,000 copies will be available.

Tony Hawk donates to Tyre Nichols memorial fund to build a skatepark in his honor
Cover Image Source: Tony Hawk attends the Los Angeles premiere of HBO Max's "Tony Hawk: Until the Wheels Fall Off" at The Bungalow on March 30, 2022 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)

Trigger warning: This article contains themes of violence that some readers may find distressing

Skateboard legend, Tony Hawk, will donate half of the proceeds from his autographed photos and BMX rider Rick Thorne to the memorial fund for Tyre Nichols. “My proceeds from these will go to the Tyre Nichols Memorial Fund, which includes plans to build a public skatepark in his honor; as our worlds continue to grieve his loss,” Hawk tweeted Friday, according to CBS News. “He was a talented skater among other admirable traits. Let’s keep his legacy alive.” The pictures each sold for $30 are up on his website (rickthorne.bigcartel.com). Only 1,000 copies will be available.  The proceeds will aid Nichols' Memorial Fund "to help his family out, and to build a memorial skate park in his name, honoring his love for skateboarding," as per Thorne's website.



 

 

Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old black man, was beaten by Memphis police officers for approximately three minutes on the evening of January 7 after he was stopped for what they said was a traffic violation. According to the New York Times, the confrontation escalated and ended with Nichols being admitted to the hospital in critical condition. Five black police officers were fired and charged on January 26 with a series of felonies, including second-degree murder. A sixth officer was fired and another was suspended. Also, two sheriff’s deputies and three fire department employees were fired and taken off duty. In the security footage, Mr. Nichols was seen running away and eventually being caught by the police and beaten up.



 

 

The Memphis police stated that a "confrontation" occurred as officers stopped Mr. Nichols’ car and he fled. There was "another confrontation" as officers arrested him. Nichols' autopsy, as revealed by his family's lawyer, said that he "suffered extensive bleeding caused by a severe beating." Antonio Romanucci, a lawyer for the Nichols family, along with Nichols' mother, RowVaughn Wells, said, "He was a human piñata for those police officers." "Not only was it violent, it was savage." President Biden watched the footage and said in a press release that this is "yet another painful reminder of the profound fear and trauma, the pain, and the exhaustion that black and brown Americans experience every single day."

 



 

 

Cerelyn Davis, the Memphis police chief, spoke of the "reckless and inhumane" activity in a video statement on January 24. "I expect you to feel outraged at the disregard for basic human rights, as our police officers have taken an oath to do the opposite of what transpired on the video." Nichols' relatives repeatedly pushed for the arrest of the five officers charged with first-degree murder. "That these five officers are being held criminally accountable for their deadly and brutal actions gives us hope as we continue to push for justice for Tyre," said Ben Crump, one of the lawyers, adding, "This tragedy meets the absolute definition of a needless and unnecessary death."

 



 

 

A New York Times investigation discovered that specialized squads frequently "intimidated, harassed, and used force against city residents who were overwhelmingly young black men." The unit conducted traffic stops, seized weapons, and made hundreds of arrests. The case of Tyre Nichols made the Police Department agree "unreservedly" to shut down the unit. While the "heinous actions of a few cast a cloud of dishonor on the unit, it is imperative that we, the Memphis Police Department, take proactive steps in the healing process for all impacted."

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