7 More Police Officers May Face Discipline in Nichols Case

February 8, 2023

Seven more Memphis police officers may face discipline following the death of Tyre Nichols.

Nichols died January 10, three days after being hospitalized for injuries he sustained in a beating by police during what had started out as a traffic stop. Initially five officers—Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Justin Smith, Emmit Martin III and Desmond Mills Jr.—were fired and have been charged with 2nd degree murder.

According to newly released records, Haley has been accused of using his cellphone to take “two photographs while standing in front of the obviously injured” Nichols after he was handcuffed and propped against a police car during the incident.

On January 31 a sixth police officer, Preston Hemphill, was fired on January 31 for his role during the initial traffic stop while a seventh, yet unnamed officer has been relieved of duty.

Additionally, three EMTs have been fired for their behavior after responding to the incident. In video from a street camera Nichols, propped up against the police car, can be seen intermittently falling over onto his side while first responders repeatedly walked away from him.

“There are seven additional officers who are under investigation. The administrative investigation is still ongoing, and so this information is subject to change. The administrative investigation is solely to determine if city policies were violated and what disciplinary action should be taken,” Memphis City Attorney Jennifer Sink said following a city council meeting Tuesday. 

She added that the criminal investigation was being handled by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) and the District Attorney.

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services and the International Association of Police Chiefs are also set to take part in a review of the Memphis police department in the wake of Nichols’ death.

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