The district attorney’s office in Memphis, Tennessee, announced that prosecutors will look into every case involving the five officers accused of killing Tyre Nichols during a traffic stop after he was brutally beaten to death. Newly-made public records reveal that a sixth officer involved in the incident lied to investigators about what happened, CNN reports.
“The office will review all prior cases – closed and pending,” Shelby County District Attorney Steven Mulroy said in a statement, as cited by CNN.
As the assessment is being conducted, police records are being released that purport to show that Preston Hemphill made false statements after Nichols’ death. Hemphill was let off from the Memphis Police Department last week for breaking several departmental rules, including those governing honesty and personal conduct. After Nichols’ passing, this cop was the sixth to be fired.
Hemphill said Nichols attempted to take his partner’s duty weapon in his account of the event on a form. This declaration was contained in a letter of decertification Memphis Police delivered to the Tennessee Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission (POST).
According to NPR, the police officers belonged to the contentious SCORPION special team, which the city disbanded after Nichols’ passing. Jim Strickland, the mayor of Memphis, reported 566 arrests between October 2021 and January 2022.
Since then, city residents have spoken out to describe other violent encounters they had with the unit. One such person is 22-year-old Monterrious Harris, who this week filed a federal lawsuit against the city and those same five police officers for allegedly beating him without cause just three days before they stopped Nichols.
Three days after police officers assaulted Nichols, a 29-year-old father and FedEx employee, during a traffic check, he passed away on January 10. Both Tyre Nichols and the five ex-policemen accused of murdering him are Black, NPR reports.
Late last month, body camera footage of the terrible encounter was made public. This revived demands for police reform around the country and brought attention to the city’s law enforcement policies.