DA will not charge former MPD officer Preston Hemphill in Tyre Nichols’ death

Published: May. 2, 2023 at 11:01 AM CDT|Updated: May. 2, 2023 at 6:11 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy announced that he will not charge former MPD officer Preston Hemphill in Tyre Nichols’ death.

Mulroy says Hemphil was not present for the traffic stop when the other five former officers pulled Nichols out of the vehicle.

“Throughout that entire time, we consulted with the family of Tyre Nichols and their attorneys and kept them informed. I’ve been informing them every step of the way. In fact, I spoke to the family and Ben Crump, their attorney, as recently as last night about this development. They’re in support of our decisions,” said Mulroy.

Hemphill was fired from the Memphis Police Department for his personal conduct the night Tyre Nichols was pulled over by MPD.

Investigators said Hemphill initially told them Nichols was stopped for reckless driving and later told them he never saw Nichols driving recklessly.

He also said Nichols began fighting with officers and reached for one of the officer’s gun, but video evidence revealed that never happened.

Hemphill reportedly used a taser on Nichols and could be heard on body cam video saying, he hopes his former colleagues quote – “stomps him.”

While Shelby County DA said he does not endorse Hemphill’s actions, he said those actions weren’t enough to criminally charge him in the case.

“He acted on limited information in a matter of seconds at the direction and support of other officers. He did not pursue Mr. Nichols, was not present at the second incident where they actual beating took place that led to Mr. Nichols’ death,” said Mulroy.

DA Mulroy says Hemphill has been cooperative with his office, TBI and FBI throughout this investigation and he is planning to testify in court on the case.

Meanwhile, Mulroy says Tyre Nichols’ autopsy results are almost complete and he believes they will reveal Nichols’ cause of death came from the beating he sustained the night he was pulled over by MPD.

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