Washington (EFE).- The Memphis Police (Tennessee) announced this Monday that it suspended a sixth agent in the framework of the investigation opened for the fatal beating of the young black man Tire Nichols during his arrest for an alleged traffic violation.
Preston Hemphill, hired in 2018, was suspended when the investigation began, but his name had not been released until now.
His lawyer, Lee Gerald, indicated in a statement released to the press that his client was present when the agents initially questioned the young man, but not in the second place of events, when Nichols was hit and beaten by five police officers after having run away from his first encounter with the agents.
“He is cooperating in this investigation,” added the lawyer in his note.
The other five officers – all black, unlike Hemphill, who is white – are in custody and face various criminal charges in the death of Nichols, who was arrested on Jan. 7 in Memphis.
A sample of police brutality in the US
The video of the arrest, released last Friday, shows that the policemen detained the young man, forcibly removed him from the vehicle and beat him, kicking him in the head, hitting him with a baton and even using an electric shock stun gun. or taser.
When the beating was over, they dragged Nichols to a patrol vehicle, sat him on the ground and bumped fists in celebration.
The brutality of the arrest, which led to his death three days later, has revived calls by protesters and members of Congress for a culture change in US police, accused of using force disproportionately against the black community.
At the local level, the Memphis Police announced on Saturday that it had decided to dismantle the “Scorpion” unit, to which the agents who gave the beating belonged and created in 2021 with the aim of reducing violence in the neighborhoods of the city that most suffer.