In an article published on Sunday (Jan. 29), The New York Times spoke with Geoffrey Alpert, a professor of criminology and criminal justice at the University of South Carolina, about the unsettling case of Tyre Nichols. As previously reported by REVOLT, on Jan. 7, the 29-year-old was returning home from his local park when he was pulled over by members of the Memphis Police Department and savagely beaten. The abuse was so severe that he died in a hospital days later.
On Friday (Jan. 27), Memphis officials released the officers’ body camera footage of the deadly encounter with Nichols. While the video was undoubtedly disturbing to watch, Alpert took a closer look and discovered even more heartbreaking facts. Nichols never stood a chance against the group of police officers. In just 13 minutes, the young father was given 71 different commands, many of which contradicted one another. “This is just — it’s so far out of the norm,” he told The Times. The publication noted that as the unsuspecting man was driving home, the horror began when his vehicle was boxed in by two unmarked police cars. Next, an officer rushed to Nichols’ vehicle with his weapon drawn and demanded he get “on the ground!” even though he was already restrained by three other officers by that time.
Memphis officials today revealed that a SIXTH officer involved in the traffic stop that led to Tyre Nichols’ death has been ‘relieved of duty.’ Ofc. Preston Hemphill violently pulled Tyre from his car, hit him on the ground with a Taser, then said, "I hope they stomp his ass!"
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) January 30, 2023
Nichols tried to reason with the mob of cops, at one point saying, “I am on the ground!” They yelled for him to be on his stomach and threatened to tase him. During the bombardment of commands from multiple people, he was also pepper sprayed, kicked and punched. One officer yelled at Nichols, “Give me your f**king hands!” despite him already being pinned down by the other cops and unable to move. They told him he was resisting arrest, which only intensified their threats, according to the published article. Since Nichols’ death, five of the officers have been fired and charged with second-degree murder, among other crimes.
Yesterday (Jan. 30), a sixth officer involved was identified as Preston Hemphill. After that news was released, civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump let off a series of tweets. “Memphis officials today revealed that a SIXTH officer involved in the traffic stop that led to Tyre Nichols’ death has been ‘relieved of duty.’ Ofc. Preston Hemphill violently pulled Tyre from his car, hit him on the ground with a [TASER], then said, ‘I hope they stomp his ass!’” one of Crump’s posts read. The five police officers who faced charges are set to appear before a judge on Feb. 17.