sixth Memphis officer relieved of obligation in Nichols arrest

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A sixth Memphis Police Division officer has been disciplined for his involvement within the brutal beating and arrest of Tyre Nichols, a division spokeswoman mentioned Monday.

Officer Preston Hemphill was relieved of obligation shortly after the Jan. 7 arrest of Nichols, who died three days later at a hospital, Memphis police spokeswoman Karen Rudolph mentioned. She didn’t disclose Hemphill’s position within the arrest.

Rudolph mentioned info on disciplinary motion taken in opposition to Hemphill was not instantly launched as a result of Hemphill was not fired and the division usually releases details about officers who’re relieved of obligation after an investigation ends.

Nichols’ household and others carefully watching developments surrounding his brutal arrest and killing in Memphis had been awaiting phrase of extra disciplinary motion in opposition to officers who had been on the scene however haven’t been fired or charged. ntts

Extremely anticipated video footage released Friday confirmed 5 Memphis Police Division officers utilizing a stun gun, a baton and their fists as they pummeled Nichols throughout a nighttime arrest Jan. 7 after he was pulled over on suspicion of reckless driving. Nichols, a 29-year-old father, was heard calling for his mom and seen struggling together with his accidents as he sat helpless on the pavement. He died at a hospital three days later.

The 5 officers have been fired and charged with second-degree murder and different alleged offenses stemming from the arrest, which has shocked many for its brutality and revived requires police reform across the nation.

Memphis police and the Shelby County district lawyer have mentioned an investigation into the actions of legislation enforcement officers who reported to the scene of the arrest was ongoing. A Memphis police spokeswoman mentioned Monday that info will probably be launched when it turns into obtainable.

Along with the 5 officers, who chatted and milled about for several minutes as Nichols sat on on the bottom in apparent ache, two Shelby County sheriff’s deputies have been relieved of obligation with out pay whereas their conduct is investigated. And, two Mermphis Fireplace Division division staff had been additionally faraway from obligation over Nichols’ arrest.

However the video confirmed different officers who additionally responded to the scene. Memphis Police Director Cerelyn “CJ” Davis has not mentioned if an officer who was concerned within the preliminary visitors and might be heard saying, “I hope they stomp his ass” as Nichols ran away has been disciplined.

Requires extra officers to be fired or charged have been loud and chronic from the Nichols household, their attorneys and group activists who’ve peacefully protested in Memphis for the reason that video was launched. The video was evocative of the arrest of George Floyd in 2020 and officers’ failure to intervene.

On Saturday, Nichols’ stepfather, Rodney Wells, instructed The Related Press that the household was going to “proceed to hunt justice and get some extra officers arrested.”

“Questions had been raised earlier than the video was launched, I raised these questions,” Wells mentioned. “I simply felt there was greater than 5 officers on the market. Now, 5 had been charged with homicide as a result of they had been the principle members, however there have been 5 or 6 different officers on the market that didn’t do something to render any support. So they’re simply as culpable because the officers who threw the blows.”

Memphis Metropolis Council member Martavius Jones mentioned he watched the video with colleagues on Friday. He acknowledged Monday that Memphis police insurance policies of failure to render support and de-escalation appeared to have been violated.

“When all people noticed the video, we see that you’ve got a number of officers simply standing round, when Mr. Nichols is in misery, that simply paints a completely totally different image,” Jones mentioned

Jones mentioned he believes extra officers must be disciplined.

“At this level, what is going on to be useful for this group is to see ow swiftly the police chief offers with these different officers now that everyone has seen the tape and is aware of that’s wasn’t solely 5 officers who had been on the scene the whole time,” Jones mentioned.

The 5 fired officers had been a part of the so-called Scorpion unit, which taregeted violent criminals in sure areas. Davis, the police chief, mentioned Saturday that the unit has been disbanded.

Nichols’ funeral service is scheduled for Wednesday at a Memphis church.

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