Sixth police officer, Preston Hemphill, suspended following fatal beating of Tyre Nichols KossyDerrickBlog KossyDerrickEnt


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Monday, January 30, 2023

Sixth police officer, Preston Hemphill, suspended following fatal beating of Tyre Nichols

Information reaching Kossyderrickent has it that Sixth police officer suspended following fatal beating of Tyre Nichols.

Preston Hemphill has been placed on administrative leave, the department said Monday.

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 had attempted to arrest Nichols after he was initially pulled over, then fired his Taser at him as he ran from police. In the footage, he later says “I hope they stomp his ass”.

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.

“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.

Video taken during the deadly Jan. 7 traffic stop showed Memphis officers aggressively attempt to detain FedEx driver Nichols, 29, who escaped as they tried to tase and pepper-spray him. The officers who pulled Nichols over claimed he was driving recklessly.

When the five officers caught up with Nichols, who was black, minutes later, they mercilessly beat him and used telescopic batons and a Taser on him as he begged for his mother, whose home was only about 60 yards away, leaving him unconscious.

The five dismissed officers - all of them Black - have been charged with second-degree murder, assault, kidnapping, official misconduct and oppression in the death of Nichols, a 29-year-old who was beaten by police after a traffic stop. Hemphill is white.

On Friday, the department released footage from body-worn cameras and a camera mounted on a utility pole showing officers kicking, punching and striking Nichols with a baton in his mother's neighborhood after the Jan. 7 traffic stop. He was hospitalized and died of his injuries three days later.

After the release of the videos, protesters over the weekend gathered and called for policing reforms in Memphis and other cities throughout the nation, from New York City to Sacramento, California, where Nichols once lived.

The peaceful demonstrations have been a stark contrast to the sense of anger, frustration and hopelessness that was on display during civil unrest after bystander video of the 2020 police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis shocked the nation.

"We want them to be terminated and we want them to suffer the consequences of their actions," NCAAP President Van Turner said at a press conference.

Some of the officers involved in the beating were a part of Scorpion, the specialized police unit that the department disbanded on Saturday.

Since the incident, protesters in Memphis have demanded that the department identify all officers on the scene of the beating and release their personnel files, the Commercial Appeal reported.

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