Sixth police officer suspended after Tyre Nichols death


sixth officer has been suspended over the beating and arrest of Tyre Nichols, a spokesperson for Memphis Police has said.

Preston Hemphill, 26, was one of the officers who stopped Mr Nichols for an alleged traffic violation.

Mr Nichols was beaten by law enforcement officers in Memphis on the night of January 7 after being pulled over on suspicion of reckless driving.

Horrifying footage of the incident released last Friday shows Mr Nichols being kicked, pepper-sprayed and hit with a baton by police officers. He died in hospital three days after the incident.

In the clip, the officers are heard screaming profanities at Mr Nichols while they beat him for three minutes. They do not attempt to help him as he slumps onto the street.

Mr Nichols was just 80 yards from his family home when he was beaten, his mother said.

Five police officers – Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr, and Justin Smith – have already been fired and indicted on charges including second-degree murder and kidnapping in the death of Mr Nichols.

Lee Gerald, the lawyer representing Mr Hemphill, said that Mr Hemphill was the third officer at the scene of the initial traffic stop and activated his body camera. However, he claimed that Mr Hemphill was not present at the second scene where Mr Nichols was beaten.

On body camera footage from the initial stop, Mr Hemphill is heard saying that he stunned Mr Nichols and declaring, “I hope they stomp his a**.”

Memphis Police Director Cerelyn “CJ” Davis told The Associated Press that a “lack of supervision in this incident was a major problem.”

“When officers are working, you should have at least one supervisor for every group or squad of people,” David said. “Not just somebody who’s at the office doing the paperwork, somebody who’s actually embedded in that unit.”

Rodney Wells, Mr Nichols’ stepfather, said the family would “continue to seek justice” and those who failed to render aid are “just as culpable as the officers who threw the blows.”

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