An additional Memphis police officer has been fired following the death of Tire Nichols, a 29-year-old man who died after being beaten by officers last month, police said Friday.
Officer Preston Hemphill, who was relieved of his duties, was “departmentally charged and fired” for offenses including personal conduct, truthfulness and breaking rules related to a Taser stun device, police said in a statement.
Department charges are not the same as criminal charges, and he has not been charged with a crime, police said.
Five other Memphis police officers were fired and criminally charged with manslaughter and other charges following the aggressive traffic stop and later beating of Nichols on January 7.
Police said in Friday’s statement that an administrative investigation is ongoing and “several MPD officers are under investigation for violations of departmental policies”.
Hemphill’s lawyer said on Monday 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 beaten, beaten with a stick and otherwise abused.
Hemphill was hired by the Memphis Police Department in March 2018, police said.
Nichols was hospitalized and died three days later.
Seven Memphis police officers, including the five criminally charged officers and Hemphill, have been relieved of their duties following the deadly encounter. Six of them have been fired.
This week, three Memphis EMTs who responded to the incident were fired following an internal investigation, the Memphis Fire Department said.
On Friday, a Tennessee Department of Health board of directors suspended the licenses of two of the laid-off staffers — Robert Long and JaMichael Sandridge — for failing to provide emergency care and treatment to Nichols about 19 minutes after arriving at the scene, according to the order documents. . The investigation is ongoing, a spokesman for the health service said.
Videos of the police check and beating of Nichols shocked and dismayed people across the country. FBI Director Christopher Wray said he was “appalled” and President Joe Biden said he was outraged, calling the video horrifying.
Ellison Barber contributed.