In Tennessee, the Memphis Fire Department has terminated two EMTs and a fire department lieutenant over their roles in the killing of Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old African American father who was fatally beaten by police officers on January 7 after a traffic stop. Memphis fire officials say an internal investigation revealed that the first responders “failed to conduct an adequate patient assessment of Mr. Nichols.” Video shows the EMTs walking away from Tyre Nichols and leaving him on the ground as he roils in agony.
Meanwhile, the Memphis Police Department has revealed that a sixth and a seventh officer were suspended after Tyre’s killing. One of the officers, Preston Hemphill, who is white, participated in the initial traffic stop and fired his Taser at Tyre. Hemphill was recorded saying, “I hope they stomp his ass” — referring to Tyre.
An initial police report filed just hours after Tyre’s violent arrest shows wide discrepancies between the claims of officers and what video from the scene reveals. The video shows no evidence that Tyre tried to fight the officers or reached for their guns, as the arrest report alleges.
On Monday night, residents gathered to remember Tyre in a candlelight vigil at the site of his killing. Pastor Charita McCoy helped organize the protest.
Charita McCoy: “I want peace. She spoke peace. I represent peace. I want to see that in the city of Memphis. I want to see peace in families. There are hurting families behind this. There are hurting cities behind this. There are hurting — the nation is hurt.”