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The number of first responders who have been fired or suspended in relation to the killing of Tyre Nichols has grown this week, with seven police officers disciplined and several first responders disciplined for their roles in the incident.
According to the Memphis Police Department, seven of its officers have been relieved of duty since Nichols’ arrest and subsequent death in early January. This includes the five Black officers who were indicted last week on charges of second degree murder, kidnapping, and more. The Memphis Fire Department announced on Monday that three of its personnel had been fired in relation to the Nichols case as well.
The Fire Department terminations include two emergency medical technicians and a department lieutenant, according to the MFD. The three who have been fired arrived on the scene on the night Nichols was beaten by the police officers and have been accused of failing to render him sufficient care. An investigation into the matter found the three first responders “failed to conduct an adequate patient assessment of Mr. Nichols” on the night of the incident. Nichols died from his injuries days later.
The officers who have been fired – aside from the five who have already been charged – include a white officer, Preston Hemphill, who was at the scene of the initial traffic stop involving Nichols, and can be seen in the body camera footage deploying pepper spray and heard saying “I hope they stomp his a–,” referring to the officers’ beating of Nichols.
Nichols’ death has reignited protests nationwide and prompted more calls for police reform. Congress has once again come under pressure to pass legislation that would crack down on police brutality and excessive force.
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: LUKE MOCHERMAN
PHOTO CREDIT: NPR