Personnel files of 5 former officers involved in Tyre Nichols’ arrest released

Published: Jan. 31, 2023 at 10:47 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Reprimands and suspensions.

Action News 5 obtained the personnel files of the five Memphis police officers fired and charged with second-degree murder in the beating death of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols.

Four of the five officers were disciplined for previous infractions that ranged from failure to fill out paperwork to reckless driving to use of force.

Desmond Mills Junior, a graduate of West Virginia State University, was hired by Memphis police in 2017 after working at five different correctional facilities.

MPD records show he received a written reprimand in 2019 for failing to file a response to resistance form after arresting a woman.

MPD policy requires officers to fill out paperwork if any type of physical force has to be used to gain compliance.

Mills received another written reprimand in 2019 for losing his Personal Digital Assistant (PDA), a handheld computer device. Mills told investigators it fell out of his pocket while he was getting into his squad car and it was run over by another car.

MPD records show a supervisor said at his hearing: “Officer Mills was one of the younger officers on the shift. He was energized and a hard worker.”

Justin Smith was hired by Memphis police in 2018. MPD internal documents show he received a two-day suspension without pay in July 2021 and was ordered to go to remedial driving school after MPD says he caused a three-car accident while speeding to a call.

Emmitt Martin, according to police records, is a graduate of Bethel University who started with Memphis police in March 2018. He received a three-day suspension in June of 2019 while still a probationary officer for failing to search a suspect before taking him to jail.

A handgun was found on the back floor of Martin’s squad car after his shift.

He admitted fault and told investigators he did not do a physical search of his car, he only looked in the back window with a flashlight.

In September 2020, Martin received a one-day suspension for neglecting to report a domestic violence case.

During his hearing, a supervisor called Martin a “top producer” on his shift and said, “it is out of his character to shirk responsibility.”

Martin’s 2021 performance evaluation said he “is respectful when dealing with others... approaches calls with a positive attitude and is well received when dealing with the public.”

The same evaluation said Martin “is a three-year officer performing on the same level as more mature seasoned officers.”

Demetrius Haley was hired by MPD in August 2020. POST records show he previously applied for a job with Memphis police but was rejected. The reason for that was redacted in the records Action News 5 reviewed.

His previous law enforcement experience lists Shelby County Corrections as his employer.

MPD records show Haley received a written reprimand in 2021 for failing to file a response to resistance form during the arrest of a woman in a shooting call.

She complained to MPD that her arm was twisted behind her while she was getting handcuffed and her shoulder was injured.

During his hearing, a supervisor said “Officer Haley is a hard-working officer who routinely makes good decisions.”

That same year, Haley plowed into a stop sign after losing control of his squad car on the way to help another officer. The internal charge was dismissed.

A supervisor stated “Officer Haley is one of the hardest working officers and is very respectful. The department needs several more officers like Haley.”

The fifth officer charged in Tyre Nichols’ murder, Tadarrius Bean, had no record of any infractions.

Our review of his documentation showed he attended Ole Miss and his LinkedIn profile said he interned with Ole Miss Police.

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