The Memphis Police Department said a seventh police officer has been relieved of duty regarding the Jan. 7 death of Tyre Nichols. In a statement, the seventh officer was not identified, and it was not indicated whether that person would face departmental or criminal charges.
The department had previously confirmed that a sixth officer, Preston Hemphill, had been relieved of duty, saying: “Officer Preston Hemphill and other officers’ actions and inactions have been and continue to be part of an investigation since its inception” on Jan. 8, the day after Nichols’ traffic stop and the day all seven officers were relieved of duty. The statement added that “numerous” impending charges are developing: “We expect the next phase of personnel actions in the coming days … Hemphill’s actions and involvement has been under investigation as he participated in the initial traffic stop and the use of a TASER.”
In addition, three members of the Memphis Fire Department were fired after an investigation concluded they violated department policies when they responded to the scene. The department announced on Monday that EMTs Robert Long and JaMichael Sandridge, as well as Lt. Michelle Whitaker, were fired following an internal investigation. Fire Chief Gina Sweat said in a statement that the department received a call from police to respond to a report of a person who had been pepper-sprayed, and that the workers arrived while Nichols was handcuffed and leaning up against a squad car. Long and Sandridge, based on the nature of the call and information they were told by police, “failed to conduct an adequate patient assessment of Mr. Nichols.” An investigation determined that all three violated “numerous” policies and protocols.
Editorial credit: Christopher V Jones / Shutterstock.com