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Memphis Police say 7 officers have been 'relieved of duty' following fatal beating of Tyre Nichols

APTOPIX Memphis Police Force Investigation
Posted at 12:01 PM, Jan 30, 2023

A Memphis Police spokesperson confirmed Monday that seven officers have been "relieved of duty" in connection to the beating death of Tyre Nichols.

Police have identified six of the seven officers.

Officer Preston Hemphill was identified on Monday.

The other five officers, Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills, Jr. and Justin Smith -- were fired and charged with second-degree murder and other crimes. Hemphill has not been charged.

Memphis Police said Hemphill was hired in 2018.

Ben Crump and Tony Romanucci, the attorneys representing Nichols' family, expressed outrage that more was not done sooner.

"The news today from Memphis officials that Officer Preston Hemphill was reportedly relieved of duty weeks ago, but not yet terminated or charged, is extremely disappointing," they said. "Why is his identity and the role he played in Tyre's death just now coming to light? We have asked from the beginning that the Memphis Police Department be transparent with the family and the community - this news seems to indicate that they haven't risen to the occasion. It certainly begs the question why the white officer involved in this brutal attack was shielded and protected from the public eye, and to date, from sufficient discipline and accountability. The Memphis Police Department owes us all answers."

Video of the confrontation between the officers and Nichols was released on Friday.

In four different clips, officers are seen spraying Nichols with what appears to be pepper spray, beating him with a baton and kicking him in the head.

Nichols, whose face was bloodied, remained on the ground for about 25 minutes without police or medical personnel addressing his injuries. He died three days later.