Memphis continues to mourn the death of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols, who was brutally attacked and killed by five Black police officers after a Jan. 7 traffic stop. On Saturday (Jan. 28), rapper NLE Choppa took matters into his own hands when he led a peaceful protest to honor Nichols.
“Today, I felt it on my heart to turn a negative situation to a positive. I actually went to sleep dwelling on how I could wake up today and do that,” he said in a video posted to social media “I just want to skate for Tyre in respect to him and know that’s how he would have wanted everybody to act.”
The Memphis rapper began the protest at 4687 Cottonwood Road alongside adults and children with his skateboard. “No justice, no peace, we gon’ skate for Tyre,” he chanted. He later thanked his supporters for joining the protest and expressed gratitude for everyone’s involvement. “I know it’s hard for us to all come together, and it’s kinda sad it takes something tragic for us to do this,” he told the group. “But I’m grateful for it for everybody to be together, so I just want to thank y’all for being a part of this.”
— NLE Choppa (@Nlechoppa1) January 29, 2023
Bodycam and surveillance footage of Nichols’ altercation with police was released on Jan. 27, and prompted responses from many celebrities. “My heart is crushed. I couldn’t watch the full video because it hurt so much to see something like that. I pray for those with hate in their hearts. I pray for the lost souls of people. There is no need to take anyone’s life. Rest In Peace Tyre. #JusticeForTyre,” said Ciara.
Former President Barack Obama shared similar sentiments on Instagram. “The vicious, unjustified beating of Tyre Nichols and his ultimate death at the hands of five Memphis police officers is just the latest, painful reminder of how far America still has to go in fixing how we police our streets,” he wrote. “Along with mourning Tyre and supporting his family, it’s up to all of us to mobilize for lasting change.”
Nichols’ injuries led to his hospitalization and death. Footage of the fatal beating also showed him screaming out for his mother, crying, “I’m just trying to get home.” The five police officers have since been fired and charged with murder.
Watch NLE Choppa’s video in his post below.
— NLE Choppa (@Nlechoppa1) January 28, 2023