Ex-cops charged in Tyre Nichols’ death have disciplinary records

Ex-cops charged in Tyre Nichols' death have disciplinary records

Two of the five former Memphis cops arrested in the beating death of Tyre Nichols were previously reprimanded for failing to file reports about using force while making arrests – and two others also have disciplinary records with suspensions.   

Demetrius Haley, 30, was given a letter reprimanding him in 2021 for failing to file a Response to Resistance form after he was accused of using excessive force while handcuffing a woman, according to personnel files cited by The Commercial Appeal.

Haley “grabbed a complainant by the arm and turned her around to be handcuffed as she resisted arrest,” the charging document states.

Memphis officers are required to file Response to Resistance forms when “any part of the officer’s body [is used] to compel compliance,” according to department policy.

Former cop Demetrius Haley, 30,
Demetrius Haley, 30, was reprimanded in 2021 for failing to file a Response to Resistance form after he was accused of using excessive force during an arrest.
Shelby County Sheriff/MEGA

“Officer Haley advised that he understood the policy but had simply mistaken, in this case, as to the amount of force necessary to require a blue team entry,” the hearing summary states, according to the news outlet.

Police Lt. William Acred reportedly said at the hearing that Haley was “a hard-working officer [who] routinely makes good decisions.”

In 2021, Haley also was involved in an accident when he lost control of his patrol car and struck a stop sign while driving with lights and sirens, his personnel records show.

He said he was responding to a fellow officer’s call for assistance when he crashed. An internal charge was later dismissed.

Another ex-cop, Desmond Mills Jr., 32, also was issued a written reprimand for not filing a Response to Resistance form after he took a woman to the ground as he tried to cuff her following a car crash in March 2019.

Former cop Desmond Mills Jr., 32,
Desmond Mills Jr., 32, was reprimand for not filing a Response to Resistance form after he took a woman to the ground as he tried to handcuff her.
Shelby County Sheriff/MEGA

The woman had filed a complaint claiming she was beaten by cops, grabbed by the hair and slammed into a police vehicle, according to The New York Times.

Records cited by the paper describe body cam video showing that two cops struggled with her for several minutes and struck her with a baton, before Mills and others came to assist.  

“Officer Mills stated he was familiar with completing the response to resistance document in Blue Team, but he did not realize it applied to his actions in this cause,” according to the hearing summary cited by The Commercial Appeal.

Mills also was reprimanded in another case for “rough or careless handling of equipment” after he accidentally dropped his personal digital assistant which was run over by a vehicle.

Meanwhile, Emmitt Martin III, 30, was suspended for three days without pay in 2019 for failure to comply with regulations after he did not check the back seat of his patrol car, where a revolver was found after his shift.

In 2020, he received a one-day suspension without pay for failure to file a report after he responded to a domestic disturbance call, the Commercial Appeal reported.

Former cop Emmitt Martin III, 30,
Emmitt Martin III, 30, was suspended after he failed to check the back of his police car and a gun was found in the back seat.
Shelby County Sheriff/MEGA

Martin said he did not believe the report was necessary because everyone in the home was intoxicated, and the parties involved requested a report not be taken, WREG reported.

At the hearing, Officer James Schmedes spoke on Martin’s behalf and said the cop “was one of the shift’s top producers,” the Commercial Appeal reported.

Two men previously came forward with accusations that Martin pulled a gun on them and threatened to shoot them in the face.

Glenn Harris, 24, and Demarius Hervey, 27, told NBC News that former Martin approached them at a gas station in August 2020, when they tried to flee after smoking marijuana while in possession of a gun.

Martin pinned Harris to the ground, pointed his gun at his head, and said, “I’ll blow your face off,” Harris reportedly claimed.

Justin Smith, 28, received a two-day suspension without pay in 2021 after he struck a Ford F-150, causing it to spin and hit a third vehicle.

Former cop Justin Smith, 28,
Justin Smith, 28, was suspended after he failed to maintain proper control of his car.
Shelby County Sheriff/MEGA

Smith, who was hurt in the accident, was issued a citation for failure to maintain proper control while driving his unmarked cruiser, which was not in emergency mode.

Tadarrius Bean, 24, the fifth former cop charged in Nichols’ death, did not have any reprimands or suspensions in the records viewed by The Commercial Appeal.

The five former cops were fired on Jan. 20 after an internal probe found they had used excessive force and failed in their duties to render aid during the attack on Nichols on Jan. 7.

Tyre Nichols in the hospital
The five former officers face murder charges in the beatdown death of Tyre Nichols.
Family of Tyre Nichols

They have all been charged with second-degree murder, two counts of official misconduct, two counts of aggravated kidnapping, one count of official oppression, and one count of aggravated assault.

Two other officers have been relieved of their duties.

Mills’ attorney, Blake Ballin, declined to comment to the paper. Martin’s attorney, William Massey, and the Memphis Police Department did not respond to a request for comment.

Attorneys for the other officers were not available.

On Tuesday, a Memphis official said police will release additional footage and video from the deadly confrontation in the “coming weeks”, Fox News reported.

“The City has received multiple requests for the release of the entirety of the audio and video footage in the Tyre Nichols’ case. The City is still conducting an administrative investigation of other personnel, and the criminal investigation is ongoing,” the city’s Chief Legal Officer Jennifer Sink said in a statement.

“It is imperative the City conduct a thorough investigation so that all culpable parties can be held accountable. A premature release of the video and audio could compromise our administrative investigation,” she said.

“The City is preparing to release these recordings publicly upon completion of the administrative investigation, which is expected to occur in the next few weeks,” Sink added.

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