The US attorney investigating the death of Tire Nichols, a Tennessee man who was killed by police while in custody earlier this month, promised to conduct a “thorough” and “methodical” investigation.
The U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, Kevin Ritz, said in a brief press conference Wednesday that the investigation “may take some time” as these types of investigations tend to do. the federal, but will make decisions based on facts and law.
He said he told the Nichols family that the investigation “will be completed. It will be conducted, and it will continue until we gather all the relevant facts. Just like any other investigation of federally, we go where those facts take us.”
Memphis police arrested Nichols, a 29-year-old black man, on January 7 on charges of reckless driving. The department said the next day they encountered Nichols before he ran and another “confrontation” occurred before he was arrested.
Nichols said he was having trouble breathing and was hospitalized before he died on January 10.
His family and their lawyers on Monday viewed the body cameras from the police who arrested him. Prominent civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who is representing the family, said the video showed Nichols panicking, shaking the paper and stopping when he was pulled away.
Lawyer said he was cured like a “human piñata” and compared the incident to the 1991 police beating of Rodney King.
Nichols’ family is accusing police of causing him to suffer heart and kidney failure as a result of the beating.
Five members of the Memphis Police Department were involved in the traffic stop shooting on Friday for excessive force and failure in their duty to intervene and provide assistance after the department’s investigation.
Ritz said his office is working closely with the Justice Department’s Human Rights Division, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies to conduct the investigation.
He is hearing a federal investigation into the incident last week. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has also launched an investigation.
Crump and the family’s other attorney, Antonio Romanucci, say what open on Monday the attorneys had their own independent autopsy performed on Nichols by a medical examiner. They said preliminary autopsy results showed Nichols was “profusely bleeding” from a “blow-up” and that the injuries were consistent with what they had seen from the autopsy photos. Police.
Ritz said he wants the public to express its “right to be heard” in response to Nichols’ death, but it should be done peacefully.
“I want this city to be a place where justice is done,” he said. “The United States is committed to following the truth and the law, guided by the principles of justice every step of the way.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.