Updated as of 2/4/2023 at 2:30 p.m. ET
Seven additional Memphis police officers are facing discipline in connection to the fatal beating of Tyre Nichols, per CNN. They’ve been placed under internal review and their department violations will be announced following the investigation.
Prior to this, six officers were fired and five of them were charged criminally in the beating. The report says the department announced the internal investigation of the additional officers after the city council meeting Tuesday which discussed the body camera footage and concerns of public safety. Following the release of the video, many city residents questioned why only five of the many officers were held accountable in the beating.
Now with 14 to 15 police officers in hot water, the Memphis Police Department could be looking at a staffing concern. Former MPD recruiters told AP News in recent years, the department lowered its standards out of desperation to hire more cops. From $15,000 bonuses to diluting education or work experience requirements, the department made some huge adjustments ahead of Nichols’ alleged murder.
It makes you wonder if the cops involved were truly qualified if they were hired during the time the department was cutting applicants some slack.
Thanks to the body camera footage, even more officers involved in the Tyre Nichols beating have been identified—including former officer Preston Hemphill, who was heard saying, “I hope they stomp his ass” after Nichols ran away, per Insider.
The department says Hemphill was seen on that footage firing a Taser at Nichols during the first police encounter. However, attorneys for Nichols’ family allege he did more than just fire the stun gun; he also dragged Nichols out of his vehicle and hit him repeatedly with the non-lethal weapon. The department announced that Hemphill was “departmentally charged and terminated” for violations including personal conduct, truthfulness and violating the rules around using a Taser,” police said in a statement.
The family’s attorneys and the public questioned why it took so long to fire the one white cop who has been identified in connection with the alleged murder. Not to mention, Hemphill’s attorney says he’s been on paid leave since the start of the investigation.
“Why is his identity and the role he played in Tyre’s death just now coming to light? — 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,” read a statement from Benjamin Crump and co-counsel Antonio Romanucci.
The city didn’t stop at the police department’s involvement in the incident. Two more agencies had to reevaluate their employees.
Read more from NBC News:
Three fire department employees were fired Monday after they were accused of violating “numerous” departmental policies and protocols, the agency said in a statement. The department didn’t provide a list of charges. It said two of the employees — both EMTs — “failed to conduct an adequate patient assessment of Mr. Nichols.”
The third employee, a lieutenant, remained in her vehicle, the department said.
Two Shelby County sheriff’s deputies were also relieved of duty pending an administrative investigation in connection with Nichols’ death, Sheriff Floyd Bonner Jr. announced Friday night after having watched the video for the first time.