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Sacramento will rename a skate park after its former resident Tyre Nichols

A portrait of Tyre Nichols is displayed at a memorial service for him on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023 in Memphis, Tenn. Nichols was killed during a traffic stop with Memphis Police on Jan. 7.
Adrian Sainz
/
AP
A portrait of Tyre Nichols is displayed at a memorial service for him on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023 in Memphis, Tenn. Nichols was killed during a traffic stop with Memphis Police on Jan. 7.

Nearly three months after the beating death of Tyre Nichols by Memphis police officers in January, a California skatepark will officially be renamed in his honor.

The Sacramento City Council unanimously voted Tuesday to rename the Regency Community Skate Park to the Tyre Nichols Skate Park. Nichols, a Sacramento native, was an avid skateboarder and "spent numerous hours of his youth skating and building friendships there," according to the city's commission report.

"That's where he discovered the most beautiful parts of himself," Keyana Dixon, Nichols' eldest sister, told the local newspaper, The Sacramento Bee. "Where he met a lot of his lifelong friends, and where he picked up the joy of skateboarding."

Growing up in Sacramento, family and friends say Nichols was long fascinated with skateboards before he built up the courage to ride one.

"He always tried to bring everybody together and put a smile on anybody else's face before his own," Austin Robert told NPR shortly after Nichols' death.

In addition to renaming the skate park after Nichols, the 29-year-old will be posthumously honored with a bronze plaque that will be installed at the park.

Lisa Kaplan, a Sacramento City councilmember, said during Tuesday's meeting that the city is also partnering with the Tony Hawk Foundation to make improvements to the park, with the city allocating $20,000 towards its upgrades.

The city's move to rename its skate park follows the news of a Tennessee commission's vote last week to decertify three former Memphis police officers charged with murder inTyre Nichols' death. The decertification will prevent them from working at other Tennessee law enforcement agencies.

The commission also approved one former officer's decision to voluntarily surrender his certification.

Nichols died on Jan. 10, three days after Memphis police stopped him for alleged reckless driving. Police said he fled the scene and was taken into custody after two confrontations with officers.

Along with Sacramento, other cities across the country are continuing to pay tribute to Nichols in the wake of his death.

In Memphis, local artists David Yancy and Francisco Flores unveiled a mural last month outside the Steve A. Castle House of Rhythm and Blues, a local restaurant in North Memphis.

In Palm Springs, Calif., Nichols' photographs are featured on roadside billboards across the area as part of the Desert X biennial — a contemporary art exhibition.

The collection, entitled Originals, features photos that were taken when Nichols lived in Memphis. The collection includes a photo of a monument of Tom Lee, a Black river worker who rescued dozens of people from the Mississippi River; a panoramic sunset; and a photo of the Hernando de Soto Bridge.

NPR's Juliana Kim and Kaitlyn Radde contributed to this report. contributed to this story

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Jonathan Franklin
Jonathan Franklin is a reporter on the Newsdesk covering both race & identity and breaking news.