6th Police Officer Fired After Death of Tyre Nichols

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A sixth Memphis cop involved in the arrest that resulted in Tyre Nichols’ death has been fired.

 

Preston Hemphill, a Black man and father who worked at FedEx, was “departmentally charged and terminated,” according to the Memphis Police Department, after officers discovered more information while investigating the death of Nichols.

 

“After a thorough review of the circumstances surrounding this incident, we determined that Officer Preston violated multiple department policies,” the MPD wrote in a statement shared on their social media. The violations include personal conduct, truthfulness and his use of a taser, among others.

“This is still an ongoing administrative investigation, and multiple MPD officers are under investigation for departmental policy violations,” said the MPD.

The MPD tells PEOPLE it has nothing further to add.

Hemphill, a white officer who joined the force in 2018, was reportedly relieved of duty last month. He is the sixth officer fired in connection with Nichols’ death.

 

According to online Shelby County Jail records reviewed by PEOPLE, the first five officers fired were previously charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, two counts of aggravated kidnapping, and multiple counts of official misconduct and official oppression. They were later released on bond.

 

Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr., and Justin Smith are the now-fired Black officers involved in Nichols’ arrest.

On Jan. 7, around 8:30 p.m., Nichols was pulled over for alleged reckless driving. Memphis police said in a statement that several “confrontations occurred” after officers approached Nichols’ vehicle, and he allegedly fled on foot.

 

Multiple officers are seen beating Nichols for approximately three minutes in disturbing video footage released last week. Nichols is punched in the head several times as he collapses to the ground.

 

Nichols was also subjected to a Taser and pepper spray by officers. Nichols is then seen slumped against a vehicle. He was taken to the hospital, where he died three days later. He was 29.

According to a statement issued by Benjamin Crump and Antonio Romanucci, two attorneys representing Nichols’ family, a preliminary autopsy revealed “extensive bleeding.” According to the statement, police “brutalized him to the point where he was unrecognizable.”

 

During a press conference, Crump stated that Nichols cried out for his mother during the police encounter.

“He calls out three times for his mother, his last words on this earth are ‘Mom, Mom, Mom,’ he’s screaming for her,” said Crump. “He said, ‘I just wanna go home.’ “

 

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