Preston Hemphill, The White Police Officer Involved In Tyre Nichols Death, Has Been Fired

Preston Hemphill, The White Police Officer Involved In Tyre Nichols Death, Has Been Fired

Memphis Police Officer Preston Hemphill, the sixth officer identified in the investigation into Tyre Nichols death, has been fired from the department, according to MPD.

In a statement released Friday (Feb. 3), MPD said:

“After a review of the circumstances surrounding this incident, we determined that Officer Preston violated multiple department policies. Officer Hemphill was departmentally charged and terminated from the Memphis Police Department for the following violations: personal conduct, truthfulness, compliance with regulations: Conducted Energy Weapon (TASER), compliance with regulations: Uniforms (issued equipment) and Inventory and Processing Recovered Property. 

The statement also said that the administrative investigation is continuing and multiple MPD officers are under investigation for departmental policy violations. They said action on those officers will be made available in the coming days.

Hemphill was a detective with MPD’s SCORPION Unit, and had worked with SCORPION alongside the five previously fired MPD officers.

Memphis Police said Monday that Hemphill and another unidentified officer were relieved of duty on Jan. 8, pending the investigation, making them the sixth and seventh officers connected to the incident by MPD.

The five fired officers are charged with second-degree murder, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct, and official oppression.

Three Memphis Fire Department employees have also been fired for violating MFD policies and protocols, but have not been charged. Two of those employees – both EMTS – had their licenses suspended Friday. Two Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies are also relieved of duty pending investigation, but not charged.

Preston Hemphill first joined the department in 2018. The delayed release of Hemphill’s identity, as well as the unreleased identity of the seventh officer in question, has brought up questions about the transparency of the ongoing investigation.

Friday, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland called for an outside review of the Memphis Police Department amid the investigation into Nichols’ death.