Sixth police officer implicated in brutal death of African-American Tire Nichols
A sixth police officer is targeted by the disciplinary investigation into the fatal beating of African-American Tire Nichols, for which five black officers were fired and charged with murder, Memphis police said Monday.
Preston Hemphill, a white police officer on duty in this large southern United States city since 2018, “was suspended from the start of the investigations (…), along with the other officers Local police spokeswoman Kim Elder said in a statement, without giving further details.
On January 7, 29-year-old Tyre Nichols was arrested by police officers from a special unit in Memphis, who accused him of a traffic violation: badly beaten, he died three days later in hospital .
The images of the tragedy, captured by the on-board cameras of the agents and the surveillance cameras, were made public on Friday.
We see the police brutally extracting the young man from his his vehicle. Pinned to the ground, he is sprayed with tear gas and targeted by an electric pulse gun. He then fled on foot to his mother's home. Caught, he is beaten with kicks, punches and truncheons.
The role played by each of the police officers has not been made public. But for the lawyers of the family of Tire Nichols, Preston Hemphill is the one who used his electric taser on the young man. According to them, he let go “I hope they will smash him”, when his colleagues went in pursuit of the young man.
“Why is his identity and his role in the Tyler's death are only made public today? “Again, Me Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci wonder in a press release.
“We wonder why the white agent involved in this brutal attack been protected from public scrutiny, disciplinary action and prosecution?”, they add, demanding “all the answers”.
The ordeal of Tire Nichols has caused horror and incomprehension in the United States. United. Several demonstrations in his honor took place this weekend in the country, without taking on the scale of the exceptional mobilization that followed the death of George Floyd, suffocated by a white police officer in 2020.