The Memphis Police Department fired a white officer Friday for violations made during the fatal arrest of Tyre Nichols.
Preston Hemphill is the sixth officer fired during the investigation into the Jan. 7 arrest of Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man who was brutally beaten and died in a Tennessee hospital three days later. Five other officers, all Black, had been fired and charged with second-degree murder in Nichols' death.
An unidentified officer has been suspended. Hemphill had been suspended since the start of the department’s investigation.
Also, emergency medical technicians Robert Long and JaMichael Sandridge and fire Lt. Michelle Whitaker were fired in connection with Nichols' death. The licenses of Long and Sandridge were suspended Friday during a meeting of the Tennessee Emergency Medical Services Board in Nashville for not providing on-scene medical treatment to Nichols.
Memphis police officers used a stun gun, baton and their fists as they pummeled Nichols during the nighttime arrest after he was pulled over on suspicion of reckless driving. From body camera footage of the initial stop, Hemphill, who had been with the department since 2018, is heard saying he stunned Nichols with a Taser and then declaring, "I hope they stomp his a--."
The Memphis Police Department, in a release posted on its Twitter account, said after an internal investigation, Hemphill was fired for five violations: personal conduct; truthfulness; compliance with Taser regulations; compliance with uniform regulations; and a policy on inventory and processing recovered property.
No further details, including whether Hemphill will face charges, were given. The department said the internal investigation is ongoing and that multiple police officers are under investigation.
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