After Tyre Nichols' Beating, a Pic Began Making the Rounds

Police officials now say cop Demetrius Haley, since fired, circulated pic of Nichols to at least 5 people
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 8, 2023 6:23 AM CST
Updated Feb 8, 2023 6:46 AM CST
Memphis Police: Cop Texted Tyre Nichols Pic After Beating
This Jan. 26 booking shot shows former Memphis cop Demetrius Haley in Memphis, Tennessee.   (Shelby County Sheriff's Office via AP)

Five Memphis police officers have been fired and charged with murder in the death of Tyre Nichols, the 29-year-old Black man who died three days after a brutal beating during a traffic stop. Now, a new allegation against one of those former cops: According to documents released by the Memphis Police Department on Tuesday, Demetrius Haley, who forced Nichols out of his car on Jan. 7 during the initial confrontation, texted a photo he'd taken of a battered Nichols to multiple people, reports the New York Times. Police officials say Haley admitted to sending the picture to two other cops, a civilian worker within the police department, and a female acquaintance.

A sixth person also received the photo, according to the decertification requests sent by the police department to the Tennessee Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission, or POST. The Commercial Appeal notes that POST is the state agency responsible for not only certifying officers, but also taking that privilege away, and ensuring they can't work for another police department in the state. "Your on-duty conduct was unjustly, blatantly unprofessional and unbecoming for a sworn public servant," the documents said of Haley, per Axios. The Times notes that, in the footage of Nichols' arrest, Haley can be seen shining a flashlight in Nichols' face after the assault as he sat propped up against a squad car.

In the video, Haley seems to snap a photo, look at his phone, then take a second photo—which would violate department policy that bars cops using their personal cellphones while on patrol duty. Meanwhile, also Tuesday, Memphis City Attorney Jennifer Sink announced at a City Council meeting that at least seven more police officers may be disciplined in the case, which would bring the total number of cops whose actions are being examined to 13, reports CBS News. Besides the five fired and charged with murder, one other officer, Preston Hemphill, was let go from the force on Friday. "We're still adding names to the list," Cerelyn Davis, Memphis' police chief, said of the possible policy violations her department is looking into, per the Times. (More Tyre Nichols stories.)

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