Today (March 24), the Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission voted to decertify ex-cops Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin, and Justin Smith after their alleged involvement in the brutal beating and death of Tyre Nichols, The Associated Press reported.
A fourth officer, Desmond Mills, decided to surrender his certification, which was granted by the Tennessee panel. With the decertification, all four former authority members will no longer be allowed to work in law enforcement within the state. They have 30 days to appeal the decision.
On Jan. 7, Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man, was handcuffed and repeatedly punched and kicked by officers after he was pulled over by authorities during a traffic stop in Memphis. He died from his injuries three days later. After news of Nichols’ senseless killing spread across the country, the City of Memphis revealed they were launching an internal investigation. On Jan. 15, the Memphis Police Department stated that ex-cops Haley, Martin, Smith, Mills, and Tadarrius Bean were placed on leave. Bean has not yet had his decertification hearing before the state panel.
Those five former members of law enforcement were charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct, and official oppression after bodycam footage of Nichols’ assault was released. In February 2023, they appeared at the Shelby County Criminal Court and pleaded not guilty.
Earlier this month, the City of Memphis completed its internal investigation. They released an additional video showing the circumstances surrounding Nichols’ assault. It included audio of what transpired after authorities attacked Nichols and after he was taken to the hospital.
From the investigation, 13 MPD employees, including those previously mentioned, were charged with policy violations concerning Nichols’ beating and death. Four members of the Memphis Fire Department were also accused of policy violations. On March 8, the same day that the COM closed its investigation, the Department of Justice announced they were launching a review of Nichols’ case.
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