The death of Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old man who died after being beaten by Memphis police officers last month, has shocked and appalled the nation. In the wake of this tragedy, an additional Memphis police officer has been fired for violating departmental policy. This is the latest development in a series of events that have been unfolding since the incident occurred.
Officer Preston Hemphill was “departmentally charged and terminated” for violations that include personal conduct, truthfulness and violating rules regarding a Taser stun device, according to a statement released by the Memphis police department. Hemphill was hired by Memphis police in March 2018. His attorney stated that Hemphill was at the scene of the traffic stop, but was never present at the later scene where Nichols was seen on video being punched, struck with a baton, and otherwise abused.
Five other Memphis police officers were fired and criminally charged with second-degree murder and other counts after the aggressive traffic stop and later beating of Nichols on Jan. 7. In addition to the police officers, this week three Memphis EMTs who responded to the incident were fired after an internal investigation. On Friday, a Tennessee Department of Health board suspended the licenses of two of the fired personnel for failing to render emergency care and treatment to Nichols for about 19 minutes after arriving at the scene.
Videos of the police stop and beating of Nichols have been met with outrage from the public, with FBI Director Christoper Wray saying he was “appalled,” and President Joe Biden calling the video horrific. The investigation into the incident is ongoing, and multiple Memphis police officers are under investigation for departmental policy violations.
The death of Tyre Nichols has left the nation reeling, and the Memphis police department’s response is being closely watched. It is clear that this incident has had a lasting impact and that justice must be served.