MPD halts request to stop decertification of retired lieutenant

Memphis police
Memphis police(Action News 5)
Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 5:36 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 23, 2023 at 11:17 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Memphis Police Department has stopped their request to rescind the decertification of a former MPD lieutenant.

Lt. Dewayne Smith, along with several other officers removed from the force in the midst of the investigation into Tyre Nichols’ death, is scheduled for a hearing from the Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission in Nashville on Thursday.

Smith retired March 1 after 25 years on the force.

He was able to retire in lieu of termination. Memphis police say Smith violated policies of neglect of duty, unauthorized public statements and compliance with regulations. Those administrative charges were filed on February 22, and Smith was due for a hearing on March 2.

Smith did not appear at the hearing due to his retirement a day prior.

Smith was the on-scene supervisor January 7 and responded to Castlegate Lane and Bear Creek Cove after Tyre Nichols was beaten by officers.

Documents state Smith witnessed Nichols say “I can’t breathe,” before he slumped over, but did not direct an officer to remove the cuffs or call for emergency medical personnel to provide care.

Investigators say he walked away and instructed officers to clear the scene before an investigative agency could be notified.

Former MPD officers Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin, Desmond Mills, Justin Smith are also part of the hearing scheduled for Thursday.

If decertified, that would mean they would be unable to work as a police officer in any other department in the state.

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