A black American, Tire Nichols, who died in Memphis after a brutal police check, died of "blunt force trauma" to the head, according to coroners. It was a killing, the forensic scientists found in an autopsy report published on Thursday (local time), which is available to several US media. The 29-year-old was brutally beaten by police officers during a traffic stop in Memphis on January 7 and succumbed to his injuries three days later in the hospital.
During the autopsy on January 11, injuries to the head and neck, internal bleeding in the brain and other bruises and bruises on the rest of the body were found. Nichols had alcohol in his blood – but the concentration was well below the alcohol limit permitted in the state of Tennessee, according to the “New York Times”. The 29-year-old was pulled over by police for drunk driving.
The case sparked protests and reignited the debate about police brutality in the United States. The five black police officers involved in the operation were fired and charged. They are accused, among other things, of second-degree murder - which in Tennessee corresponds to an intermediate stage between murder and manslaughter. The ex-cops pleaded not guilty in February.
Nichols' family released the results of a self-commissioned autopsy in January. "We know now what we knew then," the family's attorneys said in reference to the coroner's report.
In the USA, the police have long been criticized for being accused of excessively brutal and sometimes racially motivated use of force. In the past, operations that got out of hand in this way have repeatedly triggered violent protests. The killing of African American George Floyd in May 2020 led to nationwide demonstrations against racism and police violence.