MPD fires 6th officer involved in Tyre Nichols’ death

Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 5:36 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Memphis Police Department has fired Officer Preston Hemphill for his involvement in Tyre Nichols’ death.

On Friday, MPD reached an additional finding in the administrative investigation in Nichols’ death. After a thorough review, it was determined that Hemphill violated multiple department policies.

Hemphill was departmentally charged and terminated from MPD for the following violations:

  • Personal conduct
  • Truthfulness
  • Compliance with Regulations to wit: Conducted Energy Weapon (TASER)
  • Compliance with Regulations to wit: Uniforms (issued equipment)
  • Inventory and Processing Recovered Property

Former Officer Preston Hemphill is the latest in a string of firings connected to Nichols’ death.

Hemphill had been with Memphis Police Department since 2018 and was assigned to the SCORPION Unit.

He’s seen on video from his body camera tasing Nichols after he was pulled out of his car.

Hemphill can be heard saying “I hope they stomp his a**.”

Memphis City Councilman JB Smiley says Hemphill’s termination was necessary.

“I think the very first thing you do is fire the officer that has or represents the epitome of what’s wrong with police departments and that is the idea that excessive force is commonplace,” said Smiley.

Smiley and other city leaders are looking to bring changes to the police department when it comes to use of force, transparency and more.

“Now I’m waiting on District Attorney Mulroy to bring charges against this officer,” said Smiley.

Hemphill’s attorney Lee Gerald says his client will “continue to cooperate with authorities” as the investigation continues. He sent this statement to Action News 5:

“I can confirm that within the last hour, Officer Hemphill’s employment was terminated with the Memphis Police Department. Though we find this decision regrettable, Preston Hemphill will continue to cooperate with authorities in the investigation into the death of Tyre Nichols.”

Hemphill is not facing any criminal charges.

A spokesperson with Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy’s office told Action News 5:

“We are in the stage of our investigation where we are looking into all matters including the actions of Officer Preston Hemphill and others who were on the scene.”

This is still an ongoing administrative investigation, and multiple MPD officers are under investigation for departmental policy violations.

Updates regarding other actions will be made available in the coming days, MPD says.

He was relieved of duty Jan. 15.

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