Seven more police officers in Memphis are under administrative leave, following the brutal death of Tyre Nichols last month. The officers have not yet been publicly identified, according to the city’s chief legal attorney, Jennifer Sink.
The total number of officers who have been investigated or are under investigation has risen to 13. Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Preston Hemphill, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr., and Justin Smith have been fired. After an internal investigation, three Memphis EMTs, who also responded to the scene, were fired. Bean, Haley, Martin, Mills and Smith have also been charged with second-degree murder in Nichols’ death.
In a statement released on February 7, Sink said, “All criminal case(s) related to the Jan. 7 traffic stop are being supervised by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office.”
Nichols, a 29-year-old creative passionate about fatherhood, photography and skateboarding, died three days after officers beat him for more than three minutes during a traffic stop and let him without medical support for more than 20 additional minutes. His case “called for renewed national attention to police brutality.”
The city of Memphis has discontinued its Street Crimes Operation to Restore Peace in Our Neighborhoods (SCORPION) unit following Nichols’ death. Originating in November 2021, the SCORPION unit was created in hopes to instill community reform and decrease the city’s murder rate.