The Memphis Police Department announced Friday that it has fired a sixth officer after continuing to investigate the death of Tire Nichols last month.
Officer Preston Hemphill “violated multiple department policies,” the police department’s statement said, including those regarding “personal conduct” and “truth.”
Nichols, a 29-year-old black father, died in hospital after being beaten by several officers on January 7 in Memphis, Tenn., in a confrontation that began with a traffic stop. Five officers were fired on Jan. 20 and charged with second-degree murder and aggravated assault, among other charges. The subsequent release of police body camera videos and other footage further inflamed tensions over brutal police tactics.
Hemphill, who is white, joined the Memphis department in 2018. News of his firing comes days after the department said he had been let go but did not disclose Hemphill’s role in Nichols’ arrest.
The Memphis Police Department confirmed Friday that “several” officers are still being investigated for their involvement in the arrest.
“Updates on further action will be available in the coming days,” the department added.
Earlier this week, the Memphis Fire Department announced it had also fired three employees in connection with Nichols’ death. The two emergency medical technicians and a lieutenant responded to the scene of Nichols’ arrest on Jan. 7.
So far, only five people — former Memphis police officers Desmond Mills, Justin Smith, Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley and Emmitt Martin — have been charged. However, the Shelby County District Attorney’s office indicated earlier this week that it is considering filing charges against other people and continues to investigate what happened the night of Nichols’ fatal beating.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
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