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Three more Memphis officials fired and 7th police officer suspended in wake of Tyre Nichols beating

Three more Memphis officials fired and 7th police officer suspended in wake of Tyre Nichols beating

Two Memphis Fire Department emergency responders and a driver have been fired following the brutal beating of Tyre Nichols that resulted in the young man’s death.

The Memphis Police Department also removed a seventh unidentified police officer from duty in Nichols’ death.

A department spokesperson speaking with Fox 13 Memphis previously said that officer Preston Hemphill has been put on administrative leave, making him the sixth officer to be relieved of duty.

The spokesperson did not elaborate on how the officer is related to Mr Nichols.

“Officer Hemphill is relieved of duty. This is an ongoing investigation. Once additional information is available, we will update our social media platforms. Hemphill was hired in 2018,” the spokesperson said.

Mr Hemphill’s attorney, Lee Gerald, confirmed to ABC 7 that his client was the third officer at Nichols’ initial traffic stop.

“As per departmental regulations Officer Hemphill activated his bodycam,” Mr Gerald said in a statement. “He was never present at the second scene. He is cooperating with officials in this investigation.”

Mr Hemphill has been identified as the office who fired a stun gun at Mr Nichols. The officer’s bodycam footage was included with the footage released on Friday.

Five other officers — Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith — were fired on 20 January after an internal investigation into their treatment of Mr Nichols found them in violation of the department’s policies.

Those officers were charged with second-degree murder, two counts of official misconduct, two counts of aggravated kidnapping, one count of official oppression and one count of aggravated assault, according to prosecutors.

Police bodycam footage released on Friday showed officers allegedly beating Mr Nichols, shooting him with a taser, spraying pepper spray at him, and then gloating about their work while waiting to call in medical aid.

The release of the footage sparked protests in several cities.