Tyre Nichols Skateboarding Memorial Video Viewed More Than 1.9M Times

A video of Tyre Nichols dazzling with his skateboard skills went viral on Twitter Friday as users pushed to share clips of Nichols' life before law enforcement released footage of his deadly confrontation with police in Memphis, Tennessee.

Nichols, a 29-year-old father and FedEx driver, died in the hospital three days after a January 7 traffic stop. The Memphis Police Department released body-camera footage of the interactions between Nichols and officers on Friday, which showed police repeatedly beating Nichols while he was restrained.

Tyre Nichols A 'Dedicated and Talented Skateboarder'
A crowd gathers on Friday in Washington, D.C., to protest the police killing of Tyre Nichols. In the inset, a photo of Nichols is displayed at a press conference in Memphis, Tennessee. Nichols, who died after a traffic stop by Memphis police, on Friday is being remembered on Twitter for his skateboarding talents. Tasos Katopodis/Getty; Scott Olson/Getty

Ahead of the police footage release, however, author Maisha Perkins shared a clip on Twitter of a video compilation of Nichols skateboarding, adding that she wanted "to amplify THIS video of Tyre LIVING his best life." As of Friday night, the video had been viewed over 1.9 million times.

Perkins credited the video to the YouTube channel of Austin Dean, who first published the video of Nichols in 2010.

Thousands of Twitter users reposted or commented on Nichols' memorial video, echoing Perkins' sentiment to share the compilation in lieu of the Memphis police footage. Political scientist Cas Mudde wrote in his repost of the video, "Don't add additional trauma to people of color by (re-) tweeting videos of #TyreNichols [being] murdered by cops."

"Instead, celebrate his tragically ended life," Mudde said, adding "#JusticeforTyreNichols."

Former New York State Representative Yuh-Line Niou also reposted the video of Nichols, commenting, "Remember Tyre Nichols the way he should be remembered."

Reecie Colbert, founder of BlackWomenViews Media, wrote in her repost of Nichols' video, "I see a young, carefree Black man doing something he loves.

"It's heartbreaking to see what kind of beautiful soul was snatched from the #TyreNichols family," Colbert added. "Let us remember Tyre as much for his life as we do for how he died."

Civil-rights attorney Ben Crump, who is representing Nichols' family, also posted the video of Nichols on Monday. As of Friday evening, Crump's tweet had received over 1 million views on its own.

"This is who Tyre Nichols was—a talented and dedicated skateboarder with SO much life left to live," Crump wrote along with the video. "He didn't deserve to be tragically taken from his family and community! We will continue to fight for accountability for you Tyre!"

Nichols is also remembered as a "beautiful soul" by his family, according to RowVaugh Wells, Nichols' mother, who spoke about her son at a press conference Friday.

"No one's perfect, but he was damn near," Wells said.

Crump also spoke to MSNBC Friday night following the release of authorities' video footage, saying that the Nichols family wanted the videos to be released to the public.

"They think it's important that America, that the world, see how [the officers] brutalized Tyre, how they killed Tyre so unnecessarily," Crump told the outlet.

U.S. cities across the country on Friday prepared for protesters to gather in response to the police video release. In Memphis, demonstrators had started meeting around 5:30 p.m. CST prior to the videos' release, according to The Commercial Appeal. By 6:15 p.m., the crowd had moved onto Interstate 55 and began to block traffic.

In New York City, protesters marched along Times Square, holding signs and chanting "no justice, no peace," according to a report from WABC, an ABC News affiliate. CeFaan Kim, correspondent for WABC, shared videos of the protest on Twitter.

Newsweek has reached out to Crump for comment.