Tyre Nichols' Family Says Autopsy Confirms 'What We Knew'

It shows he died by homicide with brain injuries from blunt force trauma, family's lawyers say
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 4, 2023 6:39 AM CDT
Tyre Nichols' Family Says Autopsy Confirms 'What We Knew'
Attorneys Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci announce they are filing a lawsuit for the death of Tyre Nichols at the hands of the Memphis Police Department on Wednesday, April 19, 2023, outside of the Shelby County Circuit Court in downtown Memphis, Tenn.   (Stu Boyd II/The Commercial Appeal via AP)

An official autopsy shows Tyre Nichols suffered brain damage as a result of blunt force trauma as he was beaten by Memphis police officers on Jan. 7, according to Nichols' family. The family of the 29-year-old Black man who died three days after the brutal assault for which five former officers are charged with murder, was briefed on the medical examiner's official autopsy report on Wednesday, per NPR. "We know now what we knew then. Tyre Nichols died from blunt force trauma and the manner of death was homicide," the family's attorneys Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci said in a statement. "The official autopsy report further propels our commitment to seeking justice for this senseless tragedy."

The attorneys said the autopsy report is "highly consistent" with an independent autopsy conducted in January, which found Nichols suffered "extensive bleeding caused by a severe beating," per ABC News. The results of the official autopsy have not been released publicly. Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy told reporters Tuesday that the autopsy, now nearing completion, is expected to confirm that Nichols "died as a result of the injuries sustained in the beating." Nichols was kicked, punched, beaten with a baton, pepper-sprayed, and struck with a Taser after he was pulled over close to his home for what officers alleged was reckless driving. Police also claimed he assaulted an officer.

However, Police Chief Cerelyn "CJ" Davis later acknowledged there was no evidence that Nichols committed any crime, per the Memphis Commercial Appeal. According to documents, the officer who pulled him from his vehicle hadn't given a reason for his arrest. Nichols' mother said officers additionally claimed her son was drunk and high, though she never believed that. The official autopsy report shows his blood alcohol level was .049, or well below the legal limit to drive, per ABC. Nichols' family is suing those involved in the incident, including fire department employees who allegedly failed to render aid, and are seeking at least $550 million in damages, Crump said last month, per NPR. (More Tyre Nichols stories.)

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