MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — No criminal charges will be brought against former Memphis Police Officer Preston Hemphill, the sixth officer fired in the Tyre Nichols beating investigation, Shelby County’s district attorney said Tuesday.
D.A. Steve Mulroy said Hemphill, who tased Nichols at one point, was not present during Nichols’ beating. Mulroy made clear that he did not endorse Hemphill’s actions but said it did not rise to the level of criminal charges.
“Justice doesn’t mean a witch hunt. Justice doesn’t mean we charge every single person,” prosecutor Paul Hagerman said during Tuesday’s news conference.
MPD fired Hemphill in early February, saying he violated multiple department policies during his interaction.
Mulroy said Hemphill is expected to testify in a trial later.
Nichols’ autopsy is almost complete and will be available soon, Mulroy said. He expects it will show Nichols died from injuries sustained in a beating by police.
Nichols, a 29-year-old father, died three days after five former Memphis Police officers beat him in a traffic stop that was caught on video.
Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr., and Justin Smith were all terminated by the Memphis Police Department on January 21.
They are charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, and aggravated kidnapping. The unit those officers belonged to, known as the SCORPION Unit, was disbanded shortly after Nichols’ death.
All entered pleas of not guilty.