After weeks of outrage about the White Memphis cop seen initiating the fatal beating of Tyre Nichols, Preston Hemphill is finally facing consequences like his Black counterparts.
The Hill reports that the Memphis Police Department fired Hemphill for his misconduct during the deadly arrest of Nichols. He also concealed the truth and improperly handled his taser, police-issued equipment, and property recovered from the arrest. Why did he get away with these violations for so long?
“The Memphis Police Department reached an additional finding in the administrative investigation into the tragic death of Mr. Tyre Nichols. After a thorough review of the circumstances surrounding this incident, we determined that Officer Preston violated multiple department policies,” the department announced on Friday.
“Officer Preston Hemphill was departmentally charged and terminated from the Memphis Police Department for the following violations:
- Personal Conduct
- Compliance with Regulations to wit: Conducted Energy Weapon (TASER)
- Compliance with Regulations to wit: Uniforms (issued equipment)
- Inventory and Processing Recovered Property
Tyre Nichols’ brutal killing was blue on Black crime
There was so much shock about the five Black killer cops (Taddarius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Justin Smith, Emmitt Martin III, and Desmond Mills Jr.) that their swift termination and murder charges were welcome news. Suspicions about a double standard between Black officers charged with misconduct and their White counterparts were dismissed as tasteless.
However, there was no denying that the brutal surveillance and bodycam footage showed a White officer instigating the assault on Nichols. Journalists and internet detectives gathered evidence to identify him like the other boys in blue.
The videos show Hemphill needlessly escalating the traffic stop by pulling Nichols out of his car. He also deployed his taser on Nichols, who was unarmed and only accused of reckless driving. Hemphill gave up on the foot chase shortly after Nichols broke free and tried to run to the safety of his mother’s home less than 100 yards away.
The winded 26-year-old casually rewound the cords from his taser while cheering on his fellow gang members savagely punching, kicking, bludgeoning, and pepper spraying Nichols.
“I hope they stomp his a**!” Hemphill repeatedly said on the recording.
What was Memphis PD hiding besides Preston Hemphill’s identity?
Openly encouraging a crime that led to the death of an unarmed civilian is no better than finishing the job. Yet it seems like Hemphill had the complexion for protection until public pressure forced Memphis officials to act.
“This is still an ongoing administrative investigation, and multiple MPD officers are under investigation for departmental policy violations,” the department added, after seemingly shielding Hemphill for two additional weeks.
If they initially refused to act on Hemphill’s obvious involvement, what else are he and the rest of the Memphis Police Department hiding? From the first terminations and charges to the disbanding of the SCORPION street crime unit, every bit of accountability seems more like clever corruption.
While Nichols was dying in the hospital with a broken neck and extensive internal bleeding, Memphis’ finest were already busy with the cover-up. Although cameras captured every angle of the horrific attack and the depraved refusal to help Nichols for over 20 minutes, they expected to get away with it.
The initial police report falsely claimed Tyre was “irate” and reaching for an officer’s gun during the confrontation. Hemphill not only got a headstart to conceal more information, but he also faced no legal consequences. While the five Black officers face murder charges, Hemphill is just out of a job. We’ve already seen how easy it is for violent, crooked cops to go from paid vacations and terminations to a new badge in a new department.
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