MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — The mother of Tyre Nichols is calling for peaceful protests after the video of her son’s confrontation with Memphis police is released Friday.
Nichols’ stepfather said Monday he saw the video of his stepson’s arrest. During a candlelight vigil for Nichols Thursday night in Midtown, his mother Rowvaughn Wells said she hadn’t watched the video but knows it’s horrific.
“I want each and every one of you to protest in peace. I don’t want us burning up our city, tearing up the streets because that is not what my son stood for,” said Wells. “If you guys are here for Tyre and me, then you will protest peacefully.”
Dozens gathered at Tobey skate park on Avery to remember Nichols and show their support for his family. During a news conference on Monday, family members talked about Nichols skateboarding and shared a video of him doing what he loved.
The vigil was held hours after five Memphis police officers were charged with his death.
Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr., and Justin Smith were booked into the Shelby County Jail on charges of second-degree murder, aggravated assault, two counts of aggravated kidnapping, two counts of official misconduct, and official oppression.
The City of Memphis will release video of the police stop that led to the death of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols after 6 p.m. (CT) Friday.
The announcement was made Thursday by Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy and later confirmed by Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland. Officials have said they wanted to give Nichols’ family the opportunity to see the video before the public.
Nichols, 29, died on Jan. 10, three days after a traffic stop put him in the hospital with severe injuries.
Wells said her family is grief-stricken right now, and she is concerned about what could happen in her city.
“You can get your point across, but we don’t need to tear up our city people because we do have to live in them,” said Wells.
The city of Memphis is already preparing for possible protests in the days to come. Thursday, mounted patrols were spotted downtown.
MPD is also adding SkyCops outside police precincts, increasing visibility downtown, and coordinating with local agencies such as the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.
A GoFundMe page verified by a company spokesperson has been created to help support Tyre Nichols’ family. If you would like to donate, click here.