Three firefighters and two new officers are facing disciplinary investigations into the fatal beating of African-American Tire Nichols, for which five black officers have already been fired and charged with murder, police and officers said on Monday (January 30th). Memphis fire department.
On January 7, 29-year-old Tire Nichols was arrested by police officers from a special unit in this large city in the southern United States.
The agents accused him of a traffic violation: beaten up, he died three days later in the hospital.
In the early afternoon, local police spokeswoman Kim Elder announced in a statement that a sixth police officer had been
"suspended from the start of the investigations (...), at the same time as the other officers »
The officer in question is identified as Preston Hemphill, a white police officer on duty in this major southern US city since 2018. A new statement from Memphis police, posted late Monday on Twitter, announced the suspension of a seventh policeman, without identifying him.
The city's fire department also announced in a separate statement on social media that it had fired two paramedics and a lieutenant.
“Our investigation concluded that the two paramedics responded based on the initial nature of the call
(a person who was pepper sprayed)
and the information they received at the scene, and that they did not not conducted a proper examination”
of Tire Nichols, Memphis Fire Chief Gina Sweat said.
The three sacked individuals are accused of violating
"numerous rules and protocols"
of the Memphis Fire Department, added Gina Sweat.
Read alsoUnited States: tensions and consternation after the broadcast of the videos of the fatal arrest of Memphis
The images of the tragedy, captured by the on-board cameras of the agents and the surveillance cameras, were made public on Friday.
We see the police brutally pull the young man out of his vehicle.
Pinned to the ground, he is sprayed with tear gas and targeted by an electric pulse gun.
He then fled on foot to his mother's home.
Caught, he is beaten with kicks, fists and truncheons.
The role played by each of the police officers has not been made public.
But for the lawyers of the family of Tire Nichols, Preston Hemphill is the one who used his electric taser on the young man.
According to them, he dropped
"I hope they will smash him"
when his colleagues went in pursuit of the young man.
"Why is his identity and role in Tyler's death only coming out today?"
, wonder again Me Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci in a press release.
"One wonders why the white agent involved in this brutal attack was shielded from public scrutiny, disciplinary action and prosecution?"
, they add, demanding
“all the answers”
Read alsoFive police officers charged with murder after the brutal arrest of an African-American
The ordeal of Tire Nichols aroused horror and misunderstanding in the United States.
Several demonstrations in his honor took place this weekend in the country, without taking on the scale of the exceptional mobilization following the death of George Floyd, suffocated by a white police officer in 2020.