Feb 3, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Memphis police fire sixth officer in Tyre Nichols case

Demonstrators march in Memphis following the death of Tyre Nichols. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The Memphis Police Department announced it fired another officer Friday in the aftermath of the death of Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man​ who died days after being beaten during a Jan. 7 traffic stop.

Driving the news: The department fired Preston Hemphill, who used a taser gun during the initial traffic stop, after finding that he "violated multiple departmental policies," according to a statement.

  • Preston, who is white, was "departmentally charged and terminated" for several violations, including personal conduct, truthfulness and compliance with taser regulations, Memphis police said in the statement.
  • "This is still an ongoing administrative investigation, and multiple MPD officers are under investigation for departmental policy violations," police said. "Updates regarding other actions will be made available in the coming days."

Context: The department had said Monday that Hemphill was relieved of duty on Jan. 8 and that his actions were still under investigation.

  • Hemphill had been with the force since 2018.

Of note: Former officers Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith, who are all Black men, were each charged with aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression.

  • Those officers were "directly involved" in the first and second scene, in which Nichols was "physically abused and suffered serious injuries," police said.

Go deeper: What we know about Tyre Nichols' death after Memphis police traffic stop

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