An independent autopsy commissioned by the family of Tennessee man Tire Nichols reached a preliminary conclusion on how the 29-year-old died following a traffic stop by the Memphis police earlier this month.
The findings indicate that Nichols “experienced severe bleeding as a result of a severe beating,” family attorney Benjamin Crump said in a statement Tuesday.
“[H]injuries observed match what the family and lawyers saw on video of his fatal encounter with police,” Crump said, noting that more information would be released “at another time.”
Local authorities have not yet released an autopsy for Nichols.
The father of a child was detained by police on January 7 for reckless driving and fled in fear for his life, his relatives said.
A group of five officers caught up with Nichols and beat him for three minutes, according to lawyers for the family, who were given a chance to see body camera footage earlier this week.
“He was a human piñata to those cops,” said Antonio Romanucci, the family’s lawyer, according to The New York Times.
According to Romanucci, the footage showed officers using pepper spray, a stun gun and restraint against Nichols. He was taken to a hospital but died three days later.
Lawyers for the family say that in some of Nichols’ last moments of consciousness, Nichols called his mother and said he just wanted to go home.
A photo of Nichols lying in his hospital bed released by family members showed a bandaged man with a bloated and discolored face.
Memphis authorities have promised to be transparent in their investigation, but it is not clear when they will release footage of the incident and how much of the video they will share.
All five officers, who are also black, were fired last week as local and federal authorities continue to investigate the incident and decide whether to press charges.
Nichols had a 4-year-old son and worked at a FedEx facility near Memphis, The New York Times reported.