Tyre Nichols autopsy finds brain injuries from blunt force trauma, attorneys say : NPR
The attorneys for the family of Tyre Nichols say the medical examiner’s official autopsy report shows he died by injuries from blunt force trauma — which they say is “highly consistent” with their independent autopsy conducted in January.
The family of the 29-year-old who died after being beaten by Memphis police officers was briefed on his autopsy results Wednesday, nearly four months after his death.
The Shelby County, Tenn., District Attorney’s Office has not yet released results from the autopsy to the public. The DA’s office did not respond to NPR’s immediate request for comment on the results.
“We know now what we knew then. Tyre Nichols died from blunt force trauma and the manner of death was homicide,” attorneys Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci said in a statement sent to NPR. “The official autopsy report further propels our commitment to seeking justice for this senseless tragedy.”
Nichols died on Jan. 10, three days after he was stopped by Memphis police for what they called reckless driving. According to initial police reports, officers said Nichols fled the scene but eventually was taken into custody after two “confrontations” with officers.
Nichols had complained of shortness of breath following his arrest and was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
Five former Memphis police officers — Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith — were terminated by the department at the end of January. Each of the five terminated officers belonged to a team known as the SCORPION unit, which was deactivated soon after Nichols’ death.
The five former officers each face several charges, including second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression. All five officers have pleaded not guilty.
Like Nichols, all of the dismissed officers facing charges are Black.
The news of Nichols’ autopsy results comes in the wake of Nichols’ family filing a civil lawsuit against the city of Memphis, its police department and the individual officers involved in his death.
The 139-page lawsuit obtained by NPR describes the fatal beating as a “foreseeable product of the unconstitutional policies, practices, customs and deliberate indifference of the City of Memphis” and its police chief, Cerelyn “C.J.” Davis.
The suit does not mention a specific dollar amount being sought by the Nichols family. However, Crump said during a news conference last month that the family is seeking $550 million in damages.
The City of Memphis declined to comment to NPR on the lawsuit when asked last month.