DOJ opens civil rights investigation into traffic stop that preceded Tyre Nichols’ death

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By Doha Madani, NBC News

Family members and local activists hold a rally Monday for Tyre Nichols
Family members and local activists hold a rally Monday for Tyre Nichols at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tenn. (Mark Weber / Daily Memphian via AP)

The Department of Justice and FBI on Wednesday announced a civil rights inquiry into a traffic stop in Memphis, Tennessee, that preceded the death of a Black man.

Tyre Nichols, 29, died three days after being taken to a hospital in critical condition following the Jan. 7 stop. The Memphis Police Department said the case was referred to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation the next day, and an internal investigation was opened into the incident.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Western District of Tennessee announced Wednesday that the FBI’s Memphis field office and the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice have also begun looking into the Nichols’ death.

“As this is an open investigation, we are not able to provide additional comment or release further information at this time,” Kevin G. Ritz, U.S. attorney for the district, said.

The original article has background information.

Learn more about the pattern of police behavior toward Black Americans in our special news series.

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