Three Memphis fire crew sacked in Tyre Nichols case

Three Memphis fire crew sacked in Tyre Nichols case

Paramedics Robert Long and JaMichael Sandridge were unable to assess Nichols’ condition upon arrival, while Fire Lieutenant Michelle Whitaker, who drove her to the scene, remained in her vehicle, according to a statement from the fire department.

An internal review found that all three firefighters “violated numerous (firefighting) policies and protocols,” the agency said in a statement from fire chief Gina Sweat.

The terminations came as the Memphis Police Department announced that seven of its officers had been fired from duty for their role in the confrontation that led to the Jan. 10 death of Nichols, a 29-year-old black man.

That tally included five officers who were fired from the force and charged with murder last week.

The five officers charged in the case are black. Lawyers for the Nichols family have described the caning as the latest case of brutalization of an African American man over racially biased police practices that profile people of color — even when the officers involved are not white.

A sixth officer – identified as Preston Hemphill – was suspended on pay pending a hearing, and a seventh officer, who was not immediately identified, was also fired from duty on no pay, the police department said.

No criminal charges have been filed against Hemphill, 26, who joined the force in 2018, or the seventh, unnamed officer.

Police Chief Cerelyn Davis said an unspecified number of officers, in addition to the five originally implicated, remain under investigation for policy violations stemming from the arrest of Nichols during a Jan. 7 traffic stop.

The five officers fired Jan. 20 — Justin Smith, Desmond Mills Jr., Emmitt Martin III, Demetrius Haley and Tadarrius Bean — were charged Thursday with second-degree murder, assault, kidnapping, misconduct and suppression in the fatal caning offense against Nichols.

According to the officer’s attorney, Lee Gerald, the white Hemphill wore the body camera that captured the first of four videos released Friday by authorities of the traffic stop and the violent confrontation that followed.

In the video, it appears Hemphill fires a stun gun at Nichols after Nichols is pulled from his car, forced to the ground and doused with pepper spray before breaking free and running away.

Police caught up with Nichols a short distance away, where additional video clips show officers repeatedly beating him before Nichols is handcuffed. He died of his injuries in hospital three days later.

In addition to the seven police officers and three firefighters, two deputy Shelby County Sheriffs have been relieved of duty pending an internal review.

The specialized Scorpion police unit that included the five Memphis officers accused of murder in the case was disbanded by the city on Saturday

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *