Memphis Fires 6th Officer Over Beating Death of Tyre Nichols

Memphis Police on Friday fired a sixth officer in connection with the violent arrest of Tyre Nichols earlier this month, which led to Nichols’ death three days later.

Preston Hemphill was already suspended for his role in the incident, as CrimeOnline previously reported. He is the first white police officer fired for the videotaped beating. Five other officers, all Black, were both fired and charged with murder. Hemphill has not been charged.

Justin Smith, Desmond Mills Jr., Emmitt Martin III, Demetrius Haley, and Tadarrius Bean, all members of MPD’s elite “SCORPION Unit,” were fired and charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, two counts of aggravated kidnapping, two counts of official misconduct, and official oppression. They have all been released on bond.

Hemphill was at the initial traffic stop, where officers tased and pepper sprayed Nichols after dragging him out of his car. Hemphill was not, however, at the second scene, where the horrific beating took place. Video from that scene showed officer punching and kicking Nichols, hitting him with a baton, and spraying pepper spray in his face while Nichols cried out for his mom.

Top row, L-R: Tadarrius Bean, Desmond Mills Jr, and Emmit Martin. Bottom row: Justin Smith and Demetrius Haley/Shelby County Sheriff’s Office

Hemphill used a stun gun on Nichols at the initial scene and was heard sayin, “I hope they stomp his ass,” after Nichols fled the scene.

Police said in a statement that Hemphill broke rules regarding the use of a stun gun and violated rules for personal conduct and truthfulness, the Associated Press reported.

A seventh officer has been suspended but not identified.

Three fire department employees were also fired, two EMTs and a lieutenant. On Friday, the state Emergency Medical Services Board suspended the licenses of the two EMTs, Robert Long and JaMichael Sandridge.

Two Shelby County deputies were also put on administrative leave pending an investigation, Sheriff Floyd Bonner said earlier this week.
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[Featured image: Preston Hemphill/Facebook]