THE THIN BLUE LINE
Preston Hemphill, the white Memphis Police officer who was one of the first cops to confront Tyre Nichols, was fired from the force, the Memphis Police Department announced Friday evening.
Hemphill encountered the 29-year-old during a traffic stop on Jan. 7 and allegedly deployed his Taser during the confrontation. In his own body camera video, Hemphill is seen chasing Nichols down the road, but then turns back to the scene of the initial traffic stop.
Hemphill was heard on his body camera video saying twice, “I hope they stomp his ass.”
Hemphill chases Nichols until he tires out after a few seconds, about at 1 minute.
Preston Hemphill, was placed on leave at the start of the department’s investigation. MPD announced his termination Friday, nearly a month after Nichols was beaten.
The department said Hemphill violated policies including: personal conduct, truthfulness, compliance with Taser regulations, compliance with uniform regulations, and a policy governing inventory and recovered property.
Hemphill has not been charged with a crime.
Hemphill was the third officer at the traffic stop that preceded the arrest but was not at the location where Nichols was beaten after he ran away.