Tyre Nichols —
a 29-year-old Black man — died on January 10, three days after being arrested by officers of the Memphis Police Department (MPD). According to Memphis police, Nichols, who stood at 6-foot-3 inches, but weighed only 145 pounds, was initially pulled over for reckless driving on January 7 and allegedly ran from officers. The police department also reported that officers had two “confrontations” with Nichols after he complained of shortness of breath and was rushed to a hospital in Memphis, where he died three days later. According to the family attorneys Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci, an independent autopsy
was done by a forensic pathologist, which determined that Nichols died of “excessive bleeding caused by a severe beating.”
Since Nichols’ death and the release of his autopsy results, The United States Attorney’s Office, the FBI Memphis Field Office, and the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice opened a civil rights investigation into Nichols’ arrest, death, and the actions of the five officers involved. All five officers have since been fired and formally charged with two counts of official misconduct, one count of official oppression, one count of second-degree murder, one count of aggravated assault, and two counts of aggravated kidnapping. Each of the five officers has since made bond as of January 27.