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Four Officers Charged in Tyre Nichols' Death Had Prior Violations

Four of the five former Memphis Police officers charged in the death of Tyre Nichols had previous infractions with the department, according to Memphis police personnel records. Former officers Demetrius Haley, Desmond Mills, Emmitt Martin, Justin Smith, and Tadarrius Bean were fired on Jan. 20 and are charged with murder, reports NPR. Haley, Martin, Mills, and Smith were reprimanded or suspended earlier for their failure to report when they used physical force, failure to report a domestic dispute, or for damages sustained to their squad cruisers. Bean was the only one who did not have any reprimands or suspensions. The two discipline cases about the use of force focused on whether the officers filed the required reports about the incidents and did not appear to examine if the officers' use of force was warranted.

Haley violated department policy when, in February 2021, he did not fill out a response to resistance form after he grabbed a woman's arm to handcuff her. The forms must be filled out if an officer uses any part of their body "to compel compliance." Haley said he misjudged the amount of force needed to warrant filling out the form; he was given a written reprimand. In August 2021, Haley crashed into a stop sign while responding to a call about an aggravated assault and was given a traffic ticket. Mills violated procedure when he dropped his personal digital assistant (PDA) on the street, where it was run over by a car. Later that month, Mills also failed to file a response to resistance form when he used physical force to take a woman down to the ground so she could be handcuffed and arrested. Martin violated policy when a loaded handgun was found in a squad car used by him and his partner in 2019. He and his partner conducted two traffic stops, in which the suspects were placed in the backseat where the gun was found. The officers did not do inspections after the suspects left the vehicle. In September 2020, Martin broke protocol again by mishandling a domestic abuse complaint involving two sisters. One of their husbands requested a report, which he did not take. Smith violated policy as he crashed into a vehicle, causing it to spin and hit a third vehicle, which had two people inside.


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