6th police officer relieved of duties in the investigation of the death of Tire Nichols : NPR
The Memphis Police Department confirmed a sixth officer was disciplined during the investigation into the death of Tire Nichols.
Nichols was arrested Jan. 7 on suspicion of reckless driving. He was seen on police video being brutally beaten by officers and died three days later in hospital.
Officer Preston Hemphill has been “relieved of duty,” according to Memphis Police Department spokeswoman Kimberly Elder. She added: “This is an ongoing investigation. Once additional information becomes available, we will update our social media platforms. Hemphill was hired in 2018.”
Hemphill was relieved along with five other officers, Elder said. He has not been charged for the beating and subsequent death of Nichols.
But while the other officers have been fired, Hemphill is suspended from duty pending an investigation, according to department spokesman Christopher Williams. Williams could not clarify whether Hemphill is still receiving his salary.
Hemphill’s attorney, Lee Gerald, said Hemphill was the third officer at Nichols’ initial traffic stop. “The first video is his body camera footage. Per department regulations, Officer Hemphill activated his body camera. He was never present at the second scene. He is cooperating with officials in this investigation,” said said Gerald.
The five former officers – Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Justin Smith, Emmitt Martin III and Desmond Mills Jr. – have all been charged with one count of second-degree murder, one count of aggravated assault acting in concert, of two counts of kidnapping, two counts of official misconduct and one count of official oppression. They are all out on bail.