The first autopsy findings show that Tire Nichols, who died days after a traffic stop in Memphis, Tennessee, was severely beaten before he died, attorneys for his family said Tuesday.
Nichols, 29, was hospitalized and died three days after he was taken into custody by Memphis police on January 7. The Shelby County Medical Examiner’s Office has not released an official cause of death. Nichols’ family has hired a forensic pathologist to review his case.
The review’s preliminary findings found that Nichols «suffered extensive bleeding caused by a severe beating,» family attorneys Benjamin Crump and Antonio Romanucci said.
They said they planned to publish more details and findings later.
More on the death of Tire Nichols in Memphis
Nichols’ family met with Memphis officials Monday to view video of the traffic stop, which Romanucci described as a «blatant and relentless beating.»
The pathologist found that Nichols’ injuries were «consistent with what the family and attorneys witnessed on video of his fatal encounter with police,» the attorneys said.
A city spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.
Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy said he expected video of the case to be released to the public «this week or next.»
Memphis officials have not released a detailed account of what happened. The case is being investigated by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the US Department of Justice, which has opened a civil rights investigation.
Police said in an initial statement that Nichols was arrested on January 7 for reckless driving and hit-and-run and that a «standoff» ensued as officers tried to stop him.
Nichols complained of difficulty breathing and was taken to a hospital in critical condition, police said.
A photo provided by her stepfather, Rodney Wells, showed Nichols in the hospital with blood on her face and what appeared to be a swollen eye. His mother said Monday that he was placed on a «breathing machine.»
Five officers involved in the traffic stop were fired last week after an administrative investigation found they violated department policies, Police Chief CJ Davis said in a statement.
On Monday, Memphis Fire Department spokesperson Qwanesha Ward said two fire department personnel involved in the initial care of the Nichols patient had been «relieved of duty» in an internal investigation.