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Sacramento vigil held Sunday to remember Tyre Nichols, 1 year after death

By Lee Anne Denyer, Daniel Macht

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    Sacramento (KCRA) — Tyre Nichols’ family honored his memory during a ceremony Sunday in Sacramento to mark one year since his death.

Nichols, who grew up in Sacramento, died on Jan. 10, 2023, three days after he was beaten by Memphis police officers following a traffic stop there. He was 29.

“He really was the person that really had a smile on his face and try his hardest to make other people happy. It really was his mission,” said Khamari Ellis, Nichols’ nephew.

Nichols’ family held a 5 p.m. remembrance event on Sunday at the Tyre Nichols Skate Park, which is located at Regency Park in the Natomas area. The skate park was named in honor of Nichols last summer. He used to skate there before he moved to Memphis.

Longtime friend Angelina Paxton spoke at the vigil.

“The last year has been one of the hardest years of my life, the hardest year of most people’s lives that are involved in this,” she said. “This has been devastating and I’m happy to get the worst behind us and start moving forward for justice, for reform and for healing.”

The event included a candlelight vigil, prayer and illuminated balloon release.

It was also meant to show support for the family as they prepare for the year ahead.

That includes the state trial of the four Memphis police officers charged in his death. The trial is scheduled to start on Aug. 12. Each of the four have pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and other charges.

A fifth officer charged in the case pleaded guilty to federal charges of excessive force and obstruction of justice. He is expected to also plead guilty to some of the state charges against him, The New York Times reported.

District 1 City Council Member Lisa Kaplan said she is working with the Nichols family to move forward with Phase 2 of the skate park this spring. She said they are working to have the next phase complete by his birthday in June.

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