Independent autopsy reveals cause of Tire Nichols’ death after traffic delay
An autopsy commissioned independently by the family of Tennessee man Tire Nichols came to a preliminary finding about how the 29-year-old died earlier this month after a traffic stop by Memphis police.
The results indicate that Nichols suffered “profuse bleeding caused by severe beatings,” family attorney Benjamin Crump said in a statement Tuesday.
“[H]The injuries observed are consistent with what the family and attorneys saw on video of his fatal encounter with police,” Crump said, noting that more information would be released “at a different time.”
Local authorities have not yet released an autopsy for Nichols.
Kenyana Dixon is comforted January 16 during a rally for her brother Tire Nichols at the National Civil Rights Museum.
Mark Weber/Daily Memphian via Associated Press
The father-of-one was pulled over by police on January 7 for reckless driving and fled the scene fearing for his life, his family members said.
A group of five officers caught up with Nichols and beat him for three minutes, according to family lawyers who had a chance to see body camera footage earlier this week.
“He was a human pinata to those cops,” Antonio Romanucci, a family attorney, told the New York Times.
According to Romanucci, the footage showed officers using Nichols with pepper spray, a stun gun and restraint tactics. He was taken to a hospital but died three days later.
Lawyers for the family say that in some of his final moments of consciousness, Nichols called out to his mother and said he just wanted to go home.
A photo of Nichols in his hospital bed released by family members showed a bandaged man with a bloated and discolored face.
Memphis authorities have pledged to be transparent in their investigations, but it’s not clear when they will release footage of the incident to the public or how much of the video they will share.
All five officers, who are also black, were fired last week while local and federal authorities continue to investigate the incident and decide whether to press charges.
Nichols had a 4-year-old son and worked at a FedEx facility in the Memphis area, the New York Times reported.