A vigil will be held to honor Tyre Nichols from noon to 12:30 p.m. Wednesday at Fountain Square in Evanston.
Kristin Lems, a local educator, musician and playwright, said she has obtained a permit for the gathering and plans to invite a few speakers to mark the day of Nichols’ funeral. Nichols was a Black man who died Jan. 10 after a beating by at least five police officers in Memphis, Tenn.
Lems said she plans “nothing fancy. I was in a solidarity circle last night with Second Baptist Church, and the members told us white folks loud and clear that WE can stand up, we don’t have to wait for THEM to organize us. They are exhausted and traumatized. Tyre is being buried tomorrow and we didn’t want the day to pass unobserved in Evanston.”
Graffiti has also appeared in Evanston demanding “Justice for Tyre.”
The Evanston/North Shore NAACP also plans to host a community gathering in the aftermath of Nichols’ death.
Police Chief Schenita Stewart and the Rev. Michael Nabors, president of the local NAACP, will be present at a community gathering at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 6 at Second Baptist Church, 1717 Benson Ave.
The goal of the gathering is to share with the wider community the urgent need for working together so that Black and brown people and all people are treated with dignity and respect.
In 2018, former Police Chief Richard Eddington and Nabors signed an agreement on 10 Shared Principles, to assure the community that the NAACP’s objective of eliminating racial hatred and racial discrimination and the Illinois police chiefs’ focus to have values of compassion, integrity, accountability, continuous improvement, diversity and inclusion would be a part of the Police Department’s policies.