Tyre Nichols's Mother Describes Son as 'Beautiful Soul' at Memphis Press Conference

The family of Tyre Nichols, the 29-year-old Memphis man who died after an altercation with Memphis Police earlier in the month, addressed media on Friday, January 27, ahead of the scheduled release of the footage showing his arrest.

Brendan Gutenschwager posted this video from Memphis on Friday as Nichols’s mother, RowVaughn Wells, alongside Attorney Ben Crump, described her son at a press conference.

Nichols worked for FedEx and enjoyed skateboarding and photography, his mom said. “He loved sunsets.”

“He didn’t follow what everyone else was doing,” Wells said.

“My son was a beautiful soul. He was a good boy. No one’s perfect. But he was damn near.”

Five former Memphis Police officers were indicted by a grand jury on January 26 on charges including second-degree murder. The Shelby County District Attorney’s Office said the body camera footage of the January 7 traffic stop would be released after 6 pm local time on Friday evening.

President Joe Biden released a statement from the White House extending his condolences to Nichols’s family.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation reported that Nichols died in the hospital on January 10. Credit: Brendan Gutenschwager via Storyful

Video transcript

ROWVAUGHN WELLS: Tyre and his dad, they worked for FedEx. They both worked second shift, and they'd come home for lunch every day at 7 o'clock. I would have dinner cooked. They would eat, hang out, and go back to work. Well, now my husband is coming home every day, but not my son. So--

- Was he on his way home? Just he was off that day?

ROWVAUGHN WELLS: It was a Saturday. He was coming from Shelby Farms from about the time of the incident because he liked to go and watch the sunset and take pictures. That was his thing. My son loved the sunsets. That was his passion. He loved photography. He loved skateboarding. He was just his own person. He didn't follow what everybody else was doing. I tried to buy him a pair of Jordans one time. And he-- oh, mama, I don't want those. And he bought some Vans, you know?

So I'm just telling you guys, my son was a beautiful soul. He was a good boy. No one's perfect, but he was damn near.

- You said he was close to home.

ROWVAUGHN WELLS: He was close to the home.

- Do you think [INAUDIBLE] to try and get anyone at your [? house, ?] to get you to keep him?

ROWVAUGHN WELLS: Yes. He was scared for his life. And just what I thought-- like I said, I didn't see the video, but everyone asks me what I thought happened. And I told them, the TBI people and everybody. And I told them, now you prove me wrong.

BEN CRUMP: And she said that before she knew about the video, just from seeing the photograph that they took in the hospital.


BEN CRUMP: Seeing him in the hospital that next day with his head swelled, they said, beyond recognition and his neck swollen.