Seventh Memphis officer suspended, three firefighters sacked, over fatal beating
AFP: Memphis police said yesterday a seventh officer has been suspended over the fatal beating of Tyre Nichols, a young Black man whose death shocked the United States and has seen five officers fired and charged with murder.
The city’s fire department also said it had terminated three firefighters who arrived at the scene but failed to provide adequate medical assistance to Nichols.
“The Memphis Police Department began administrative investigations on officers involved in the death of Tyre Nichols on January 7, 2023. On January 8, seven officers including Officer Preston Hemphill were relieved of duty,” the Memphis Police Department said in a statement.
Hemphill, who joined the force in 2018 and who is white, is suspended “pending the outcome of the ongoing investigation,” police spokeswoman Kim Elder said in a separate statement. The Memphis Fire Department issued a statement that three of its firefighters who had responded to the police call had also been dismissed after they “failed to conduct an adequate patient assessment” of Nichols at the scene of the assault.
Memphis continues to probe the death of the 29-year-old Nichols, following a traffic stop near his home on January 7.
Graphic video footage from the incident shows the five officers, who are all Black, repeatedly kicking and punching Nichols as he moans and calls out for his mother.
Nichols died three days later in hospital. He is to be laid to rest on Wednesday in Memphis.
Last week the five now former officers were charged with second-degree murder over the beating.
According to a statement by Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci, attorneys for Nichols’ family, Hemphill used a Taser against Nichols at the beginning of the confrontation.