Less than two months after the death of Tyre Nichols, a California skatepark could be named after the Sacramento native.
Nichols, 29, died ten days into the year, three days after he was allegedly beaten by five Memphis police officers after a traffic stop.
Nichols’ mother RowVaughn Wells, and stepfather Rodney Wells have recounted how skateboarding was one of their late son’s passions.
Now, since the Regency Park’s state park currently does not have a name, the City of Sacramento’s Parks and Community Enrichment Commission said it sees this as an opportunity to honor the skateboarder.
“I would love to see if we can maybe refresh that area and add some features, you know, in honor of Tyre, and many of the kids that I see out there,” said Sacramento City Councilwoman Lisa Kaplan.
A bronze plaque is also set to be featured on a concrete pad at the skatepark, city officials said.
The commission unanimously voted Thursday evening to send the naming idea to the City Council for their final approval, with overall planning still in its early phases.
“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 Commission’s discussion item states. “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.”
The discussion item details that although the nomination is under the one-year timeframe, the facility’s naming policy provides an exception in cases with “special circumstance, need or opportunity,” allowing the early submission.
According to the discussion item, the city’s facility naming policy allows for facilities to be named for historical significance, distinct developmental features, neighborhood, community, or access streets, or an individual who has contributed substantially to the community or the facility, with priority for a deserving local individual.
“In this case, the public outpour and support for Tyre Nichols and his family has coalesced support for immediately naming this skate park in his honor, before the usual one-year time frame stated in the policy,” the discussion item stated.
Around Nichols’ birthday in June, city leaders said they also hope to have a dedication ceremony with his mother and other family members in attendance.
The proposed budget for the Tyre Nichols Skate Park is $20,000.
Five police officers were indicted by a grand jury in connection with the death of Nichols.They were each charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, and aggravated kidnapping, resulting in bodily injury, among other charges. Two other Memphis police officers and three city fire officials were fired in the wake of the incident.
All five officers who were charged have pleaded not guilty.