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Sixth Memphis Police Officer Arrested For The Death of Tyree Nicholas

Another police officer, Preston Hemphill who works for the city of Memphis has been suspended in connection to the murder of Tyree Nicholas.


Five Memphis police officers, Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills, Jr. and Justin Smith were previously fired and arrested for brutally beating a man at a traffic stop. The abuse caused Nicholas to die in the hospital three days later.


Hemphill has been suspended temporarily but has neither been arrested nor charged with a crime, because it is still unclear to the public what Hemphill did during the arrest.


Hemphill's lawyer claims that, while he was there at the first site of the chase to Tyree, he was not present at the second scene when the five police officers delivered a fatal beating.


A departmental spokesperson of the Memphis police said, “Officer Hemphill is relieved of duty. This is an ongoing investigation. Once additional information is available, we will update our social media platforms.”


The cruelty that Tyree Nicholas endured on January 7 was caught on the police officers body cams. The footage was released to the public on January 27.


The arresting officers were part of the recently disbanded Memphis police unit called SCORPION which stands for Street Crimes Operation to Restore Peace to Our Neighborhoods.


SCORPION began operating in December 2021 and almost made four hundred arrests in its first few weeks of operation. SCORPION officers are tasked with finding areas with a lot of crime and sending multiple officers there rather than reporting back to dispatch.


The unit was known for its brutality when dealing with the public. A week before Tyree was arrested, another man in Memphis complained about “violent” treatment at the hands of SCORPION. He accused the officers of harassing him at gunpoint during detainment.


Since SCORPION was organized to go after criminals who commit homicide and forcible rape, the public are questioning why Tyree would even come across them at a traffic stop.


Tyree’s family hired a well-known attorney, Ben Crump who raised the point that when the officers arrested him they were “far outside the unit’s stated purpose of stemming violent crime.” He went on to explain that these types of special crime units can cause officers to behave more hive-minded and to adopt a “wolf pack” air around them.


SCORPION isn’t the only special crime unit in American policing to come under scrutiny recently. LAPD Swat is said to have a mafia secretly running things at the top and encouraging a culture of cruelty. They are said to be numerous deputy gangs inside the Los Angeles Sheriff Department who are known for their shootings.


In response to the death of Tyree Nicholas, Americans from across the country have come to participate in protests. Demonstrations have increased in support of ending police violence toward Black people and holding officers accountable.

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Tags: #PoliceBrutality #TyreeNicholas #PrestonHemphill


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