Sacramento renaming skate park after Tyre Nichols

The Sacramento City Council has approved a measure to rename a local skatepark in honor of Tyre Nichols, whose death at the hands of Memphis Police Department (MPD) officers earlier this year sparked national outrage.

NPR reported on Thursday that the city council in California, in a unanimous decision, voted to rename the Regency Community Skate Park to the Tyre Nichols Skate Park on Tuesday.

Nichols’s family has said that Tyre, who grew up in Sacramento, had always been fascinated with skateboards before he had the courage to start riding one.

According to the city’s commission report, the newly renamed skatepark will also include a bronze plaque that will honor Nichols on a concrete pad that will be installed at the skate park to reflect the new name.

“Tyre Nichols has a strong connection to the skate park at Regency Park and spent numerous hours of his youth skating and building friendships there,” the city council said in its commission report. “The tragedy of his death has elevated his name to national significance and as such underscores his connection and contribution to Sacramento, the community of North Natomas and Regency Park.”

Sacramento City Councilmember Lisa Kaplan also said during Tuesday’s meeting the city will partner with the Skatepark Project, skateboarding legend Tony Hawk’s foundation, to make improvements to the park, as the city will allocate $20,000 toward park upgrades, NPR reported.

“Thank you to my fellow #Sacramento Council members on our unanimous approval-naming the skate park at Regency Community Park – Tyre Nichols Skate Park,” Kaplan wrote in a tweet. “Excited to partner w/ The Skatepark Project to update the skate features! More info coming #tyrenichols

The news comes a week after the Tennessee Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission decertified three former MPD officers who were involved in the death of Nichols.

The decertification will prevent Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III and Justin Smith from working with other law enforcement agencies in the state of Tennessee.

The three officers, along with two others, Tadarrius Bean and Desmond Mills Jr., were fired from the MPD department in January after Nichols’s death. The former MPD officers, who are all Black, were seen in the footage deploying pepper spray and a stun gun against Nichols and repeatedly punching and kicking him as he was yelling for his mother throughout the duration of the incident.

Nichols, 29, died from the injuries he sustained from the incident three days later. The five officers have been charged with second-degree murder and other offenses in relation to the incident.

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