The arrest of five Memphis police officers charged with second-degree murder in the death of Tyre Nichols could lead to a cascade of criminal cases being dismissed and convictions appealed, as defense attorneys in the city weigh challenging reports and testimony brought by the now-defunct police unit of which the officers were a part.
“Office would review any cases and convictions involving the five officers, though the office did not offer specifics because of the continuing investigation.”
The Shelby County District Attorney’s Office said
The five officers were also added to an internal list of police officials across the county accused of being dishonest or facing criminal charges, a classification that could lead prosecutors to drop any cases involving their testimony.
The review comes as police documents detail alleged false statements made by Preston Hemphill following Nichols’ death.
Hemphill was fired from the Memphis Police Department last week for violating multiple department policies, including personal conduct and truthfulness. He was the sixth officer to be terminated after Nichols’ death.
In his statement on a form regarding the incident, Hemphill said Nichols attempted to grab his partner’s duty weapon.
The statement was part of a decertification letter Memphis Police sent to the Tennessee Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission (POST).
“There is no video footage to corroborate that statement,” the document said, adding that Hemphill then provided a conflicting statement to investigators, telling them he “did not see the subject grab your partner’s gun.”