Actor and funnyman DL Hughley has insinuated that he believes the five cops charged over Tyre Nichols’ death were arrested so quickly because they are black.
Memphis officers Justin Smith, Desmond Mills Jr., Emmitt Martin III, Demetrius Haley and Tadarrius Bean were charged with second-degree murder, assault, kidnapping, official misconduct and oppression over Nichols’ death.
Police Chief Cerelyn Davis has said an unspecified number of officers remain under investigation for policy infractions stemming from the arrest of Nichols – who was treated like a ‘human piñata’ on January 7.
One white officer Preston Hemphill was just suspended with pay – and has so far been spared the criminal charges filed against his five police colleagues.
Filling in for the recently departed Trevor Noah, Hughley hosted The Daily Show last night and heavily implied that the reason the five cops were charged so quickly is because of their skin color.
Comedian DL Hughley, who was hosting The Daily Show last night, implied that the African American community was not shocked to see the five Memphis cops arrested and charged so quickly because they are black
Nichols can be seen wrestling with the two officers, who demand he lie down in the clip. He was beaten by the officers after a traffic stop on January 7, and died three days later in hospital. His death has sent shockwaves throughout the US, however comedian DL Hughley implied that for black people, the actions of the police were not so shocking
Five officers were fired on January 20 before being arrested and charged with Nichols’ murder as well as kidnapping, assault and misconduct on January 26. From top left to right: Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III. Bottom row from left: Desmond Mills, Jr. and Justin Smith
Preston Hemphill has been suspended with pay pending a hearing, but was spared criminal charges. Many, including lawyers defending the Nichols family, believe that the white officer received special treatment while the five black cops were charged over Nichols’ death
Speaking about the clip, he said: ‘You know who wasn’t shocked by that? Black people. It’s pretty commonplace for us…it’s hard to be shocked.
‘I can tell you what I did find shocking, how fast those cops got arrested. They got arrested so fast they didn’t even give us time to riot. These cops got arrested so fast, I have to wonder, why?’
As he looked at the five black men on screen, he sarcastically added: ‘There’s something about them that looks fast-arrest worthy. I can’t put my finger on it, but I want to arrest them myself.’
The comedian continued talking about the 71 different orders that the cops barked at Nichols while he was being beaten – including shouting at him to ‘get on the ground’ when he already was.
And he compared how the brutal beating of a black man at the hands of the police was so expected that being ‘shocked’ would be just like ‘watching a porno and going “he’s going to stick it in where?”‘
Tire Nichols, 29, was brutally beaten like a ‘human piñata’ by five Memphis, Tennessee, police officers, who were all African American, on January 7 and died three days later in the hospital from kidney failure and cardiac arrest
In the horrific clip of Nichols’ arrest, white officer Hemphill is seen ‘violently pulling Nichols from his car while hitting him on the ground with a taser, later saying, “I hope they stomp his a**” after Nichols ran away’, the family’s lawyers said.
Hemphill – who is yet to be charged for his involvement – then said on the radio to a dispatcher, ‘Taser was deployed,’ later telling another officer later, ‘One of the prongs hit the b*****d.’
The officer was not present at the second scene where Nichols was brutally punched, kicked and beaten while lying defenseless on the floor.
Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci, lawyers who are defending the Nichols family, slammed the police for appearing to give Hemphill special treatment, the only white officer involved.
Timeline of medical aid for Nichols
8.36pm: The police beating concludes and Nichols is in handcuffs.
8.41pm: Paramedics arrive on the scene.
8.47pm: Paramedic asks Nichols what drugs he took. Nichols is unable to speak and gurgles in response.
For another 10 minutes they stand by as he twitches on the pavement.
8.57pm: Paramedics begin rendering some kind of aid, appearing to bandage Nichols.
9pm: Ambulance arrives to transport Nichols
They said in a joint statement yesterday: ‘The news today from Memphis officials that officer Preston Hemphill was reportedly relieved of duty weeks ago, but not yet terminated or charged is extremely disappointing.
‘Why is his identity and the role he played in Tyre’s death just now coming to light?
‘We have asked from the beginning that the Memphis Police Department be transparent with the family and the community – this news seems to indicate that they haven’t risen to the occasion.
‘It certainly begs the question why the white officer involved in this brutal attack was shielded and protected from the public eye, and to date, from sufficient discipline and accountability.’
A seventh officer who was not immediately identified has also been relieved of duty without pay, the police department said.
Meanwhile, three members of the Memphis Fire Department who responded to the fatal police confrontation were also dismissed on Monday after investigators found he was beaten and left handcuffed on the ground without medical attention for nearly 15 minutes.
According to a fire department statement, emergency medical technicians Robert Long and JaMichael Sandridge failed to assess Nichols’ condition when they arrived, while fire Lieutenant Michelle Whitaker, who drove them to the scene, remained in her vehicle.
An internal review of their conduct found that all three fire department employees ‘violated numerous (fire department) policies and protocols,’ the agency said in a statement issued by Fire Chief Gina Sweat.
According to a fire department timeline of its response to an incident originally dispatched as ‘a person pepper sprayed,’ Long and Sandridge ‘failed to conduct an adequate patient assessment’ when they reached Nichols at 8.41pm, minutes after the beating.
The beating of Nichols was caught on camera – showing the gang of officers beat, kick, and hit the black man as he dipped in and out of consciousness on the floor
Instead, after an initial ‘interaction’ with Nichols, the two EMTs called for an ambulance team, who arrived on the scene at 8.55pm and ‘initiated patient care,’ the fire department said in its statement. Nichols was transported to a hospital a short time later.
The ‘actions or inactions’ of Long, Sandridge and Whitaker ‘on the scene that night did not meet the expectations of the Memphis Fire Department,’ Sweat said.
In addition to the police officers and three fire department personnel implicated in the Nichols encounter, two Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies have also been relieved of duty pending an internal review, Sheriff Floyd Bonner said last Friday, after the video was released.
The Shelby County district attorney’s investigation is examining the roles played by all individuals involved in the Nichols traffic stop and its immediate aftermath, including Hemphill Memphis Fire Department personnel and ‘those responsible for documenting the incident,’ the office said in a statement.
The specialized Scorpion police unit that included the five Memphis officers charged with murder in the case was disbanded on Saturday by the city.
Lieutenant Michelle Whitaker was also fired on Monday night: She remained in the fire truck when they arrived on scene
JaMichael Sandridge (left) and Robert Long, both EMTs with the fire department, were fired on Monday after they failed to attend to the dying Tyre Nichols