The Memphis Police Department began administrative investigations on officers involved in the death of Tyre Nichols on January 7, 2023. On January 8, 2023, seven (7) officers including Officer Preston Hemphill were relieved of duty. Officer Hemphill’s actions and involvement has been under investigation as he participated in the initial traffic stop and the use of a TASER. The five officers terminated were directly involved at the first and second scene where Mr. Nichols was physically abused and suffered serious injuries. The MPD’s team of Internal Affairs investigators prioritized interviewing officers and witnesses related to the second scene first, where the most egregious aspects of the incident occurred. Officer Preston Hemphill and other officer’s actions and inactions have been and continue to be the subject of this investigation since its inception on January 8, 2023.
The Department’s Internal Affairs Unit’s capacity to thoroughly interview more than 30 internal and external parties simultaneously, was completed in record time. There are numerous charges still developing that are impending. As stated in earlier updates, the Memphis Police Department remains committed to transparency in this tragedy; however, we must ensure a complete and thorough investigation of all officers is conducted. In the interest of community trust, the department has worked non-stop to that end to ensure the appropriate disciplinary actions are taken. We expect the next phase of personnel actions in the coming days.