Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy said Monday all individuals involved in the events leading up to, during, and after the beating of Tyre Nichols in Memphis, Tennessee, could face additional charges.
“This includes the officer present at the initial encounter who has not — so far — been charged, Memphis Fire Department personnel, and persons who participated in preparing documentation of the incident afterward,” the district attorney’s office told ABC News.
Mulroy spoke to “CNN Newsroom Sunday,” saying he could not comment on an ongoing investigation or an ongoing prosecution when asked if the public could see other individuals charged in the case.
“We’re going to need time to allow the investigation to go forward in further consideration of charges,” he said. “But I will say this, nothing we did last Thursday regarding the indictments precludes us from bringing other charges later.”
At least two Memphis Fire Department employees and two Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies are being investigated, according to a report by CNN.
Memphis Fire Department spokesperson Qwanesha Ward told the news outlet two fire department employees who were part of Nichols’ “initial patient care” were relieved of duty “while an internal investigation is being conducted.”
Shelby County Sheriff Floyd Bonner Jr. said two deputies “who appeared on the scene following the physical confrontation” have sparked an internal investigation, adding both deputies “have been relieved of duty” pending the investigation’s outcome.
Dave Aronberg, Palm Beach County State Attorney in Florida, told Mediaite that if the district attorney’s office pursues additional charges against the Memphis Fire Department or Shelby County deputies, it would “hinge” on their official job duties.
“The big question from a criminal and civil standpoint is ‘did they have a legal duty to intervene?'” Aronberg said. “That duty exists because of the position they are in. It wouldn’t apply to a civilian bystander but would definitely apply to a police officer or EMT who stood by and did nothing.”
However, Aronber noted the charges would depend on Tennessee law and would not speculate as a Florida prosecutor on another state’s law.
Mulroy’s comments come days after announcing charges against five former Memphis Police Department officers who were arrested and charged in connection to the incident for their alleged involvement in the death of the 29-year-old male, who died earlier this month in a hospital days after the confrontation.
Those officers include Emmit Martin III, Justin Smith, Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, and Desmond Mills for Nichols’ death.
Authorities charged each officer with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping involving the possession of a weapon, aggravated kidnapping resulting in bodily injury, official misconduct through unauthorized exercise of power, official misconduct through failure to act when there is a duty imposed by law, and official oppression.
Memphis Police Department representatives told ABC that authorities relieved a sixth officer Preston Hemphill of duty during an ongoing investigation, which found the officer deployed his Taser during the confrontation.
Hemphill, the third officer at Nichols’ initial traffic stop, was heard on his body camera video saying twice, “I hope they stomp his a**,” ABC reported.
“As per departmental regulations Officer Hemphill activated his bodycam,” Lee Gerald, an attorney representing Hemphill, said earlier in a statement to ABC. “He was never present at the second scene. He is cooperating with officials in this investigation.”
Police body camera footage was released Friday evening, showing the confrontation between former Memphis Police Department officers and Nichols after officers pulled him over for “reckless driving” on January 7.
Nichols ran away from authorities on foot as they attempted to apprehend him.
Nichols died three days later on January 10.