Memphis police accused of covering up white officer involved in beating Tire Nichols

Memphis police are accused of “protecting and sheltering” Preston Hemphill, the white officer involved in the fatal beating of young Tire Nichols.

Attorneys Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci, representing the family of Tire Nichols on January 31, accused the Memphis Police Department, Tennessee, USA, of concealing and protecting Preston Hemphill, a white officer involved in the beating to death. this year on 7/1.

“It is extremely disappointing that Memphis officials have announced that Officer Preston Hemphill has been suspended from duty weeks ago, but has not been fired or charged with any crime,” Crump and Romanucci said in a statement.

Officer Preston Hemphill in Memphis, Tennessee, in July 2022.  Photo: Reuters.

Officer Preston Hemphill in Memphis, Tennessee, in July 2022. Photo: Reuters.

The Memphis Police Department last weekend announced two more officers involved in the death of young Nichols, including Hemphill, who is on unpaid leave “pending the outcome of the investigation”.

Previously, the five black officers involved in the killing of Nichols were fired and faced murder and other charges. They will have to appear in court on February 17.

“Why has the white officer involved in this barbaric attack been sheltered, protected from the public, and so far not subject to any form of discipline or accountability?” asked two of Nichols’ attorneys. ask.

The Memphis Police Department and city officials have not yet commented on the report.

Lee Gerald, Hemphill’s attorney, confirmed that his client stood at the first checkpoint asking Nichols to stop, but did not appear in the area where officers chased and beat the young man later.

“He is cooperating with officials in the investigation,” Gerald said.

The Memphis Police Department last week released video of Nichols’ January 7 encounter with officers, showing the young man being restrained by force and electrocuted. When Nichols fled, the police team gave chase, repeatedly punching and beating him with batons for 5 minutes.

5 minutes of American youth beaten to death by 5 policemen

The council attack of 5 policemen killed Tire Nichols. Video: Nhu Tam – Ngoc Huyen

Nichols was rushed to hospital but died three days later from his injuries. Many protests broke out across the United States to protest police violence and demand justice for Nichols.

Nichols’ incident recalls the case of black man George Floyd, who was killed by police in 2020. Floyd’s death then sparked protests across the US and spread to other countries around the world. gender.

Ngoc Anh (Theo Independent)

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