Five other officers have already been fired and charged with murder in the death of a 29-year-old black man.
The Memphis Police Department said Friday it has fired the sixth officer involved in the arrest of Tyre Nichols, the 29-year-old African-American man whose fatal beating shocked the nation.
Preston Hemphill, who has been on the police force of the southern US city since 2018, “violated multiple department policies,” including rules on “personal conduct,” “truthfulness” and regulations on the use of Taser guns, the department said in a statement.
Five other officers have already been fired and charged with manslaughter in Nichols’ death.
“While we disagree with this termination, Preston Hemphill will continue to cooperate with all authorities in the investigation into the death of Mr. Nichols,” Lee Gerald, an attorney representing Hemphill, said by telephone, according to Reuters news agency.
Gerald declined to comment on whether his client would also face criminal charges, but said of his cooperation with the investigation, “That speaks for itself.”
Hemphill, who is white, had been suspended since the department’s investigation began, but it was not announced until Monday.
Nichols was arrested on January 7 by members of a special police unit called the Scorpion for what police said was a traffic violation.
Footage of his brutal beating, captured by body cameras and security cameras, sparked national outrage when it was released to the public last week.
Police video shows Hemphill at the initial traffic stop when officers tried to arrest Nichols, but he was not among the officers who chased and beat Nichols.
Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy said other police officers, fire personnel and others who prepared documentation of the incident could also face criminal charges when more information becomes available.
The funeral for Nichols was held on Wednesday, with Vice President Kamala Harris in attendance.
Lawmakers and civil rights advocates in the United States are calling on President Joe Biden’s administration to do more to advance police reform in light of Nichols’ death.
Harris, speaking at the funeral, said Washington would settle for nothing less than ambitious federal legislation to end police violence.