A sixth Memphis (Tennessee) police officer has been suspended following the investigation into the fatal beating that the young African-American Tire Nichols received from some agents during his arrest for an alleged traffic violation on January 7.
The last agent to be suspended is called Preston Hemphill. He entered the Memphis Police in 2018. Until now his name had not been provided to the press.
His lawyer, Lee Gerald, indicated in a statement released to the press that his client was present when the agents initially questioned the young man, but not in the second place of events, when Nichols was hit and beaten by five police officers after running away from his First meeting with the agents. “He is cooperating in this investigation,” added the lawyer in his note.
The other five officers – all of them African-American – unlike Hemphill, who is white – are in custody and face various criminal charges in the death of Nichols, who was arrested on January 7 in Memphis.
The video of the arrest, released on the 27thshows that the police officers detained the young man, forcibly removed him from the vehicle and beat him, kicking him in the head, beating him with a baton and even using an electric shock stun gun or taser.
When the beating was over, they dragged Nichols to a patrol car, sat him on the ground and bumped their fists in celebration.
The brutality of the arrest, that led to the death of Nichols three days later, has revived calls by protesters and members of Congress for a change in mindset among US police, accused of using force disproportionately against the black community.
At the local level, heThe Memphis Police announced Saturday that it has decided to dismantle the Scorpion unit to which the officers belonged. that gave the beating, and that was created in 2021 with the aim of reducing violence in the neighborhoods of the city that suffer it the most.