Officials don’t rule out more charges in Tyre Nichols’ death
▶ Watch Video: Sixth officer relieved of duty following Tyre Nichols’ death
The Shelby County District Attorney’s Office said Monday that more charges could be filed as part of the “ongoing investigation” into the death of Tyre Nichols, the Black man who died in Memphis three days after a traffic stop on Jan. 7.
Five Memphis police officers involved in the case were fired on Jan. 20 and are now facing criminal charges including second-degree murder.
“The current charges do not preclude us from adding additional charges as more information is presented,” the statement from the district attorney’s office said. “We are looking at all individuals involved in the events leading up to, during, and after the beating of Tyre Nichols.” This includes Memphis Fire Department personnel and “persons who participated in preparing documentation of the incident afterward,” the statement read.
Videos released on Friday, including footage from police body cameras and street surveillance cameras, have led to more officers being put under investigation. Shortly after the footage was released, Sheriff Floyd Bonner, Jr. of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office said that two deputies who responded to the scene were “relieved of duty pending an investigation.”
Police said on Monday that a sixth officer, Preston Hemphill, had been relieved of duty at the beginning of the investigation, at the same time as the five who were later charged, but did not specify what his involvement was.
The Memphis Fire Department also said Monday that three members of the department, two first responders and a lieutenant, had been terminated after an internal investigation showed they had violated “numerous MFD policies and protocols” at the scene. The investigation concluded the two EMTs who responded “failed to conduct and adequate patient assessment of Mr. Nichols,” the Memphis Fire Department said in a statement.
The five officers charged were members of the so-called SCORPION unit, a group created by the department to focus on fighting street crime. On Saturday, Memphis police announced that the SCORPION unit had been “permanently deactivated.” The unit had been “inactive” since the encounter with Nichols, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said in a news bulletin Jan. 27.