New documents give a scathing account of what authorities called the “blatantly unprofessional” conduct of five Memphis officers involved in the fatal police beating of Tyre Nichols during a traffic stop last month. They include revelations about how one officer took and shared pictures of the bloodied victim, the Associated Press reports. Officer Demetrius Haley stood over Nichols as he lay propped against a police car and took photographs, which Haley sent to other officers and a female acquaintance, said the Tennessee Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission. “Your on-duty conduct was unjustly, blatantly unprofessional and unbecoming for a sworn public servant,” the Memphis Police Department wrote in requesting that Haley and the other officers be decertified. The five officers — Haley, Desmond Mills Jr., Tadarrius Bean, Justin Smith and Emmitt Martin III — have been fired and charged with second-degree murder. Another officer has also been fired and a seventh has been relieved of duty in connection with the latest police killing to prompt angry nationwide protests and an intense public conversation about how police officers treat Black people
As many as 13 Memphis officers could end up being disciplined.
A Memphis man filed a federal civil-rights lawsuit Tuesday alleging he was unjustly beaten by a group of police officers that included those charged with killing Nichols. The alleged excessive force happened three days before Nichols’s fatal encounter with police. The suit seeks $5 million in compensatory damages, the Wall Street Journal reports. Monterrious Harris, 22, sued the city of Memphis, as well as the five former officers facing second-degree murder charges in Nichols’s death. Harris was visiting a cousin at an apartment complex on Jan. 4 when his car was surrounded by a number of masked individuals “wearing black ski-masks, dressed in black clothing, brandishing guns, other weapons, hurling expletives and making threats to end his life if he did not exit his car,” according to the suit. The individuals were members of the city’s now-disbanded Scorpion police unit that targeted street crime, but none identified themselves as police, Harris alleged. The suit said Harris thought he was being robbed and panicked, attempting to reverse the car to escape. He eventually left the vehicle with his hands raised, at which point the individuals began punching, stomping and dragging him across concrete.