Tyre Nichols‘ cause of death has been confirmed by the Shelby County Medical Examiner in Memphis. An autopsy report released today (May 4) showed just how badly the 29-year-old was beaten by police officers before his death in January 2023.
The report described multiple brain injuries, contusions, cuts, and bruises on his head and other body parts, according to The Associated Press. His death was declared a homicide as a result of blunt force injuries to the head.
Ben Crump, the Nichols family’s attorney, said he and his clients were briefed on the postmortem findings yesterday (May 3) by the Shelby County District Attorney. The final report lines up with the independent autopsy from a forensic pathologist that Nichols’ family ordered in the weeks following his death. “The contents of [the autopsy] are highly consistent with our own reporting back in January of this year,” the statement read, per NBC News. “We know now what we knew then.”
The results of the medical examiner’s autopsy have reaffirmed Crump’s dedication to helping Nichols’ family find closure. “The official autopsy report further propels our commitment to seeking justice for this senseless tragedy,” his firm said.
Back in January, the legal team said that Nichols’ injuries appeared consistent with what was seen on the brutal video of the incident. “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,” a statement seen below read.
NEWS ALERT: @AttorneyCrump and @TonyRomanucci have issued a statement on preliminary findings in the independent autopsy of Tyre Nichols, who died after an encounter with Memphis police. pic.twitter.com/5SascqAWxO
— Ben Crump Law, PLLC (@BenCrumpLaw) January 24, 2023
The five police officers responsible for Nichols’ death were promptly fired and charged with second-degree murder and other counts. They pleaded not guilty on Feb. 17. One white officer who used his Taser in the initial traffic stop has also been fired but won’t face any charges. Three Memphis Fire Department employees who were at the arrest site have been fired as well. Two Shelby County sheriff’s deputies who were at the scene were suspended.
Since Nichols’ death, the local community — including his family and their legal team — have called for change. The city council passed an ordinance ending traffic stops based solely on one violation. Nichols’ mother, RowVaughn Wells, has filed a $550 million federal lawsuit against the city and the police officers responsible for her son’s death.
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