According to a report from The New York Post, a sixth Memphis police officer has been suspended following the fatal beating of Tyre Nichols; Preston Hemphill has been placed on administrative leave, the department said Monday. The five other officers involved in the beating have been fired and face charges.
From The New York Post:
Hemphill may be the white officer who was wearing one of the body cameras which was released by Memphis PD on Friday. In that footage the unidentified officer was seen attempting to arrest FedEx driver Nichols, 29, after he was initially pulled over, then firing his Taser at him as he ran from police. He later says “I hope they stomp his ass,” but the officer is not part of the group who then chase Nichols down.
“Officer Hemphill is relieved of duty. This is an ongoing investigation. Once additional information is available, we will update our social media platforms. Hemphill was hired in 2018,” a department spokesperson said.
Other video taken during the deadly Jan. 7 traffic stop showed Memphis officers aggressively attempt to detain Nichols, who was black, then running after him when he managed to break free.
Five officers caught up with him minutes later and mercilessly beat him, using a telescopic baton and a Taser as he begged for his mother, whose home was only about 60 yards away, leaving him unconscious.
Officers Tadarrius Bean, 24, Demetrius Haley, 30, Emmitt Martin III, 30, Desmond Mills Jr., 32, and Justin Smith, 28, who are all black, were fired on Jan. 20 after an internal investigation found they had used excessive force and failed in their duties to intervene and render aid.
Days later, they were all charged with second-degree murder and other offenses and booked into Shelby County jail. Each officer posted between $250,000 and $350,000 bail and has since been released.
Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn shared her thoughts on Twitter after seeing the police body cam footage of the incident; she said it was “difficult to watch.”
“The footage released tonight is difficult to watch. My office has been in contact with DOJ and will continue to work with our federal and local officials. I am confident the Memphis Police Department and State of Tennessee will conduct a thorough investigation.”
The footage released tonight is difficult to watch. My office has been in contact with DOJ and will continue to work with our federal and local officials. I am confident the Memphis Police Department and State of Tennessee will conduct a thorough investigation.
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) January 28, 2023
More over at The New York Post:
Sixth police officer suspended following fatal beating of Tyre Nichols https://t.co/nQZO85o9Nh pic.twitter.com/J3cHeQZRvg
— New York Post (@nypost) January 30, 2023