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Commission decertifies ex-officers in Tyre Nichols case

Xavier Roger

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A state panel on Friday decertified three Memphis police officers charged in the beating death of Tyre Nichols in a process that will bar the officers from law enforcement work in Tennessee.

Former officers Tadarrius Bean, Justin Smith, Emmitt Martin III, Demetrius Haley and Desmond Mills Jr. are facing second-degree murder charges for the death of Nichols after a traffic stop Jan. 7.

The Memphis police department fired the officers and recommended decertification after internal affairs investigation showed the officers violated multiple department policies.

In a hearing Friday in Nashville, the Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission – the state’s board for law enforcement certification and decertification – moved to decertify Smith, Martin and Haley. The board also approved an earlier decision from Mills to surrender his certification.

Related:Administrative hearing records point to deception, negligence in Tyre Nichols’ beating

Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Justin Smith, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. appear in court with their attorneys for their arraignment in Memphis, Tenn., on Friday, Feb. 17, 2023. The five men have been charged with second-degree murder and other crimes in connection with the beating death of Tyre Nichols in January.

Neither the men nor their lawyers attended a brief hearing Thursday in Nashville, nor were they present for Friday’s hearing. The former officers will have 30 days to appeal the decision.

The board will consider decertification for Lt. DeWayne Smith, a 24-year veteran who supervised the officers, at a later date. Smith retired on March 1 before he could be fired.

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