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One of the five Memphis police officers charged with brutally beating a black man to death took photos of his bloodied body and sent it to at least six people.
Newly released documents revealed the lengths of misconduct the Memphis police officers displayed after they stopped Tyre Nichols for allegedly driving recklessly – a claim for which no proof has been provided – before mercilessly pepper spraying him, tasing him, and then beating him to death when he tried to escape their assaults.
The files show that Officer Demetrius Haley – who first forced Nichols out of his car – shined a flashlight in his victims face after he had been handcuffed and propped limply against a squad car, then took a photo with his personal cellphone.
Haley then sent that shot six people, including a pair of police officers, department employee, and a civilian acquaintance.
The documents were part of a review of the violent arrest, which found the officers involved behaved in a ‘blatantly unprofessional’ manner, even ‘bragging’ about the beating after it took place.
Officer Demetrius Haley took pictures of Tyre Nichols after the beating and sent them to at least six people
By taking and distributing the photos, Haley blatantly violated police protocol requiring confidentiality in arrests.
It also flew in the face of rules prohibiting officers from using personal cellphones during interactions.
Those violations were the least of their infractions, however, which started when Nichols was forced out his car without being told why, or later that he was being arrested.
From there Haley and the other officers on the scene failed to activate their body-cameras throughout the stop and subsequent arrest, and one, Emmitt Martin III, even removed his camera altogether and threw it into his squad car.
Nichols ran from officers after Haley pepper sprayed him in the face. A group of cops chased him down and beat him before handcuffing him.
Haley caught up after after the assault, and while Nichols was restrained kicked him hard in the head.
From there officers failed to administer proper first aid to their victim – joking around about the beating and taking photos instead – and left him falling over as they waited for an ambulance to arrive.
The documents then detailed how Haley and the other officers delivered conflicting accounts of the arrest, and even ‘refused to provide an accurate account’ to Nichols’ mother after the incident.
Tyre Nichols was pulled from his car and beaten without being told why he’d been stopped
Five Memphis police officers, Desmond Mills, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin, Justin Smith and Tadarrius Bean, are all facing murder charges for their involvement in Nichols’ death
Five officers involved with the arrest – Demetrius Haley, Desmond Mills, Emmitt Martin, Justin Smith and Tadarrius Bean – were charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, two charges of aggravated kidnapping, two charges of official misconduct and one charge of official oppression.
A sixth officer, Preston Hemphill, was suspended for his role in the beating.
Seven more Memphis police are also under investigation, bringing the total of cops involved up to 13. The names of the additional seven have not been released.
Following the tragedy, two Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies have also been relieved of their duties pending an ongoing investigation, but have not been charged.
A further three Memphis Fire Department employees were also fired on January 30 for failing to assist Nichols as he lay dying during the January 7 beating. They have also not been criminally charged.
The three individuals released by the fire department comprised of two EMTs, Robert Long and JaMichael Sandridge, and Lieutenant Michelle Whitaker.
The six officers directly involved with the beating. Preston Hemphill (top left) was suspended for his role, while the others were charged with murder
Tyre Nichols screamed for his mother as the officers beat him so badly he died days later
TIMELINE OF EVENTS IN NICHOLS’ DEATH
January 7: Police pull over Tyre Nichols on suspicion of reckless driving at 8.30pm. Tyre fled on foot after a ‘confrontation’ but was apprehended by cops soon after.
An ambulance was called to the scene after Tyre complained of shortness of breath, and was transferred to hospital in a critical condition.
January 10: Three days after the stop Tyre, 29, died from his injuries sustained in the incident. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation announced that they were looking into his death.
January 15: Five officers are relieved of duty while the investigation into their use of force continues. Preliminary findings indicate the serious nature of the offences. All of the officers were given a notice regarding the impeding administrative actions.
January 18: The Department of Justice announces that a civil rights investigation has been opened into the death of Tyre.
January 20: Memphis Police Department identifies, and fires five offices involved in the traffic stop, due to their violation of multiple department polices.
Officers Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills, Jr, and Justin Smith’s jobs were terminated for failing in their ‘excessive use of force, duty to intervene, and duty to render aid’.
Two Memphis Fire Department employees who were part of Nichols’ ‘initial patient care’ were also fired.
January 23: The family of Tyre Nichols and their attorney, Ben Crump, view the footage of his arrest for the first time. Crump compares it to the assault of Rodney King by LAPD officers in 1991.
January 26: All five officers are charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, two charges of aggravated kidnapping, two charges of official misconduct and one charge of official oppression.
January 27: Four of the former officers each paid bond of $250,000 each to be released after their arrest. Body-cam footage of the assault is released.
The police bodycam footage of Nichols’ arrest caused widespread outrage after it was released last month, which shows the officers brutally kicking and punching the 29-year-old.
The terrifying encounter began with a traffic stop, when multiple unmarked cop cars surrounded Nichols’ vehicle and officers dragged him from the driver’s seat as one could be heard yelling, ‘Get the f*** out of the f****** car.’
After hauling the 29-year-old from his car, several cops then begin relentlessly kicking and punching him as he lies on the street.
He then frantically broke free, rushing to his feet before sprinting down the road and away from the group of officers pursuing him.
One officer then fired a taser at Nichols, but he later claims that only one prong struck him, meaning the circuit was not completed and the electric shock was not delivered.
The chase continued for roughly half a mile before Nichols was seen tackled and held down by two officers, who scream at him ‘give me your hands!’
More officers then arrived on foot while Nichols is pinned down, leading one to pepper spray him in the face.
Two officers held Nichols to the ground as he attempted to break free, then the third appeared to kick him in the head.
Following this devastating blow, Nichols was seen slumped more fully onto the pavement with all three officers surrounding him. The same officer then proceeded to kick him again.
With Nichols already subdued, the officer who used the pepper spray then extended a telescoping metal baton and shouts ‘I’m gonna baton the f*** out of him!’ before striking Nichols three times in the back.
Several officers were later seen propping Nichols up on his feet while one punched his face. Nichols stumbles and turns, still held up by two officers.
The officer who punched him then walked around to Nichols’ front and punches him three more times, causing the 29-year-old to collapse.
Nichols was heard repeatedly screaming, ‘Mom! Mom!’ during the struggle, but went silent after blows to his face.
After Nichols was handcuffed, he appeared to be unresponsive and unable to sit upright.
Immediately following the brutal attack several officers were heard cursing, wisecracking and ordering him to sit up as he slumps over onto the pavement.
Even after paramedics arrived on the scene, they did not appear to provide immediate aid.
In total, Nichols lay on the pavement for more than 19 minutes as at least eight cops milled around the scene, flushing pepper spray out of their own eyes.
Then, even after paramedics arrived, Nichols had to wait for nearly half an hour slumped over the pavement for any significant medical treatment.
Eventually, he was transported to a local hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries three days later.
Source: DailyMail UK