The results from an independent preliminary autopsy performed on Tyre Nichols were consistent with claims that the Black motorist died from injuries he sustained during a “severe beating” from police officers in Memphis earlier this month, his family’s attorneys said Tuesday.
Confirming suspicions, the autopsy results were released by attorneys representing the family of Nichols, who died on Jan. 10, more than two days after he was pulled over for a traffic stop and subsequently beaten by the officers.
Civil rights and personal injury attorneys Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci emailed a statement to NewsOne about the autopsy findings:
On January 23, 2023, our legal team had its own independent autopsy performed on the body of Tyre Nichols by a highly regarded, nationally renowned forensic pathologist. We can state that preliminary findings indicate Tyre suffered extensive bleeding caused by a severe beating, and that his observed injuries are consistent with what the family and attorneys witnessed on the video of his fatal encounter with police on January 7, 2023. Further details and findings from this independent report will be disclosed at another time.
The autopsy findings came one day after it was reported that two Memphis firefighters have been “relieved of duty” for their roles during Nichols’ traffic stop on Jan. 7, suggesting the investigation into the brutality is widening in scope.
The announcement of the firefighters being removed from their jobs came hours after Nichols’ family and their attorneys on Monday viewed the police bodycam footage following the traffic stop for suspicion of reckless driving.
Notably, Nichols’ mother said the video is evidence that the Memphis Police Department “murdered” her son.
Crump said the officers treated Nichols like “a human piñata” and compared the police violence to the infamous Rodney King beating in 1991.
“Regrettably, it reminded us of (the) Rodney King video,” Crump told reporters on Monday. “Regrettably, unlike Rodney King, Tyre didn’t survive.”
The Memphis Police Department (MPD) has pledged transparency and swiftly fired the five officers involved. MPD said “a confrontation occurred” during the traffic stop when officers approached Nichols, who “fled on foot.” A second unspecified “confrontation” occurred when MPD tried to take Nichols into custody, police said.
“Afterward, the suspect complained of having a shortness of breath, at which time an ambulance was called to the scene. The suspect was transported to St. Francis Hospital in critical condition,” MPD said in a press release admitting the officers “violated multiple departmental policies, including excessive use of force, duty to intervene, and duty to render aid.”
All five police officers involved are Black males, showing exactly how the color of a cop’s skin can have no bearing on their ability to uphold and carry out tenets of white supremacy that so often permeate law enforcement in the U.S.