(CNN) — Tyr Nichols, a 29-year-old black man, was arrested by Memphis officers on Jan. 7 for reckless driving, according to a police statement.
That day, at approximately 8:30 a.m. local time, agents stopped a vehicle.
According to Memphis police, “a confrontation ensued between officers and the driver of the vehicle, who was later identified as Nichols, fled on foot. Officers detained him and “another confrontation” resulted in Nichols’ arrest. Police.
An ambulance was called to the arrest after Nichols complained of difficulty breathing and was taken to a nearby hospital in critical condition, according to police.
On January 10, three days after his arrest, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) announced that Nichols had died from injuries sustained in an “incident of use of force with officers”, according to a statement.
He had a confrontation with Memphis police officers, and suffered “extensive bleeding due to severe beatings”, according to preliminary results of an autopsy commissioned by his family’s attorneys.
Was the tire reckless driving on Nicholls’ part?
Authorities have not released video of the arrest. However, the family’s lawyers, who saw him on Monday, described it as a painful beating by the police which lasted for three minutes. Civil rights attorney Ben Crump said that Nichols was electrocuted, pepper sprayed and restrained, comparing it to the 1991 beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles police.
Memphis Police Chief Cerelin “CJ” Davis told CNN’s Don Lemon on Friday that the incident happened just a few blocks from his home.
Police also have been unable to find anything to confirm a possible cause of reckless driving by Nichols prior to the fatal encounter with police, he said.
“We’ve looked at cameras, we’ve looked at body cameras, even if something happened prior to this stop, we have not been able to confirm at this time,” Davis said.
Chief Cerelin Davis previously said, “The horrific nature of this incident is not a reflection of the conscientiously good work our officers do every day.”
He added, “We’ve done a lot of research to determine what the likely cause was and we haven’t been able to confirm it. That doesn’t mean nothing happened, but there is no evidence.”
It is also unclear who was involved in the initial police encounter, how far Nichols fled on foot, how officers caught up with him, how long these “encounters” lasted, or why officers felt compelled to confront Nichols twice. did.
Davis said that beyond the officers’ body camera footage, police looked at surveillance cameras from businesses around the city, which may help paint a picture of what happened prior to the traffic stop.
After officers pulled over Nichols’ car, a physical interaction ensued with Nichols as the officers attempted to remove him from the car, but it is unknown what the root cause of the stop was, the chief said.
The chief said, the officers involved were irritated from the very beginning of the encounter. “The growth was already at a high level,” Davis said.
He said the nature of the traffic stop was very aggressive with noisy communication and escalated from there.
Two “confrontations” between Tyra Nichols and policemen
Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy said at a press conference Thursday that during an initial brawl involving several officers, pepper spray was fired and Nichols fled.
Nichols survived, but officers “found him again in another location and at that time was assaulted in a very high degree that is inexplicable,” she said.
“A further brawl took place at a nearby location in which Mr Nicholls sustained serious injuries,” Mulroy continued.
Davis referred to the video, saying, “I heard him calling his mother, his mother.” “Just contempt for humanity… It really hits a chord in your heart and makes you wonder: Why was there a sense of care and concern for this person who was absent from this situation by everyone they were in?” came to the scene?”
There was a “period of time” before medical attention was received for Nichols after he was injured during a traffic stop by Memphis police officers, Mulroy said.
“After waiting for a long time, an ambulance took him away,” he added.
The Memphis Police Department has fired five officers for violating policies on excessive use of force, duty to intervene and duty to render aid, the department said.
In addition, two members of the city’s fire department were fired. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation announced an investigation into Nichols’ death, and the US Department of Justice and the FBI launched a civil rights investigation.
The federal prosecutor overseeing the federal civil rights investigation said Wednesday that he had met with Nichols’ family earlier this week and vowed that his investigation into the case would be “thorough” and “methodical.”
“Our federal investigation may take some time, as it often does, but we will be diligent and make a decision based on the facts and the law,” said Kevin Ritz, US Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee.
With reporting by CNN’s Travis Caldwell, Jamiel Lynch, Nick Valencia, Eric Levenson, Jay Croft, Dakin Andon and Pamela Kirkland