Orange County

Orlando activists hold vigil in honor of Tyre Nichols, address calls for police reform

ORLANDO, Fla. — The March for Our Lives UCF and the Future Leaders of Orlando held a vigil in Orlando in memory of Tyre Nichols.


Nichols was a young father who died after a brutal traffic stop beating conducted by Memphis police.

Local activists have joined the calls for nationwide police reform.

Read: ‘Devastated and outraged’: Central Florida reacts to Tyre Nichols arrest video

Dozens of people gathered at Lake Eola Park Saturday for the event. The vigil was next to Rosalind Avenue, where the words “Black Lives Matter” were painted after George Floyd’s death.

Elected officials spoke about policy changes they are pushing to accomplish but also stressed the importance of remembering Nichols’ life.

Read: Legal analyst says officers in Tyre Nichols video ‘not using appropriate police tactics’

Local and state leaders stood side-by-side with community activists and college students. Many demanded something needs to be done to stop police brutality.

“It’s not really an opinion, but it’s something that’s happening daily and needs to be done,” said high school student Jadyn Winston.

Winston said she was heartbroken to see and hear what happened in Memphis.

“You want to stop reading these names that happen,” she said. “You want to stop seeing these videos that resurface.”

Read: Tyre Nichols death: Sixth Memphis police officer fired for role in arrest

Congressman Maxwell Frost and State Representative Ana Eskamani were also amongst the crowd.

“I protested during the Black Lives Matter uprising,” Frost said. “I’ve been arrested on these streets and now I have the honor of representing the same streets in the United States Congress.”

Both focused on the changes they wanted to see when it comes to public safety, including systemic racism and police reform.

Frost and Eskamani said there should be more training but believe people also play a major role in the issue.

Read: Tyre Nichols’ funeral: Mourners gather in Memphis

“As a lawmaker, I talk to our activists, I also talk to our city (and) county officials,” she said. “I think we have to work together to solve these problems.”

Another vigil was held in Orlando earlier this week outside of Orlando Police Department Headquarters.

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