According to The New York Times, a Memphis police officer has acknowledged to using his personal smartphone to send out a picture of Tyre Nichols after Nichols was viciously beaten and arrested on January 7. The incident took place on the same day.
According to documents that were submitted to the Tennessee Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission and obtained by the Times, Demetrius Haley admitted to sending a photograph of Nichols while he was bleeding and half-conscious to at least five people. These individuals included two other officers, a civilian employee of the department, and a female acquaintance.
The Memphis Chief of Police, Cerelyn Davis, is said to have requested decertification from the commission in reference to the five Black cops who were engaged in the beating, as stated by the newspaper. The request for a remark that was made by The Hill was not immediately met with a response from the Commission.
These five officers, Haley, Tadarrius Bean, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr., and Justin Smith, have been terminated from their positions and indicted on one charge of second-degree murder, one charge of aggravated assault, two charges of aggravated kidnapping, two charges of official misconduct, and one charge of official oppression. Haley was the officer who fired the other officers.
Haley can be seen walking up to Nichols as he is leaning against a car, flashing a spotlight in his direction, and then pointing his phone in Nichols’ direction as the video footage of the beating was made public a month ago.
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Haley then moves away from where Nichols is propped up against the car for a minute and looks at his phone before returning to the area where Nichols is still leaning against the car and seems to aim his phone in Nichols’ direction once more.
According to a report in the New York Times, the Memphis Police Department does not allow its officers to use their personal cellphones while on patrol duties. As a result of an ongoing criminal investigation, the Public Information Office of the MPD stated to The Hill that they are unable to confirm any additional information at this time.
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