Four of the five former Memphis police officers charged in the killing of Tyre Nichols have been barred from ever working Tennessee law enforcement again.
The Peace Officer Standards & Training Commission voted Friday to decertify Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin and Justin Smith. The state panel also approved Desmond Mills’ decision to surrender his certification. The former police officers have 30 days to appeal the panel’s decision.
Nichols, 29, was stopped by police on Jan. 7 for alleged “reckless driving” and was yanked from his car as officers threatened to shock him with a Taser. Officers claimed a “confrontation occurred” during the traffic stop before Nichols attempted to flee the scene. Officers caught up with Nichols and began to kick him, punch him and hit him with a baton as he screamed for his mother.
During the incident, Nichols was complaining about having shortness of breath. He was eventually transported to the hospital in critical condition and died on Jan. 10.
FORMER MEMPHIS POLICE SUPERVISOR IN TYRE NICHOLS’ DEATH RETIRED WITH BENEFITS BEFORE HE COULD BE FIRED
The commission also released documents showing Haley dragged Nichols from his vehicle and never explained why he was pulled over. The documents also show that Haley took photos of Nichols slumped against the car after officers beat him and sent the pictures to colleagues.
Haley, Martin, Smith, Mills and Tadarrius Bean were all charged with second-degree murder but have pleaded not guilty.
Two Memphis Fire Department emergency medical workers and a lieutenant were also fired in connection with the incident.
TYRE NICHOLS CASE: MEMPHIS JUDGE DELAYS RELEASE OF VIDEO AND RECORDS
The Memphis Police Department requested the decertification of seven of the former Memphis officers involved in the traffic stop, including Lt. DeWayne Smith, the police supervisor who arrived on the scene after the beating but retired with benefits before he could be fired.
Bean and the two officers not charged — DeWayne Smith and Preston Hemphill — have not had their decertification hearing before the commission yet. Another police employee who was fired has not been publicly identified.
The U.S. Department of Justice is reviewing the Memphis Police Department’s policies on the use of force, de-escalation strategies and specialized units in response to Nichols’ death.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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