Explosive documents released last week revealed what officials describe as “blatantly unprofessional” conduct by the five officers involved in the fatal beating death of motorist Tyre Nichols. One Memphis officer reportedly took pictures of the bloodied victim and then shared them.
The documents were released by the Tennessee Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission. They confirmed that former Officer Demetrius Haley took pictures from above Nichols as he leaned against a police car after the beating.
They also detail that Haley sent the pictures to other officers and a female acquaintance.
In a letter requesting that Haley and the other officers be decertified, the Memphis Police Department charged that “your on-duty conduct was unjustly, blatantly unprofessional and unbecoming for a sworn public servant.”
Plot thickens. Although, we kinda already knew this.
Can they up the ring leaders charge to 1st degree murder still??https://t.co/pHhEl32n9t
— CannCon (@CannConActual) February 8, 2023
The documents noted that Haley took “two photographs while standing in front of the obviously injured suspect after he was handcuffed.”
The photographs and their distribution violated department policy. Haley, Tadarrius Bean, Justin Smith, Desmond Mills, and Emmitt Martin III were fired and face multiple felony charges in Nichols’ death.
To make matters possibly worse, there are rumors swirling around the case that Nichols was not just a random traffic stop gone horrifically wrong. Sherrilyn Ifill, former NAACP counsel and Senior Fellow at the Ford Foundation, tweeted that answers must be given.
She posted that she “tried to ignore the rumors that this attack on #TyreNichols was targeted and not random. But the confirmation that this ofcr sent this photo to other ofcrs and “a female acquaintance” has raised alarm bells.”
Activist Devine Davidson noted that some allege that Nichols had a relationship with the girlfriend of one of the officers. If this is true, she said, it is “not a cop problem, not a race problem, not a fraternity problem.”
If that were to be the case, the police brutality and racism narrative completely collapses.
Whatever the truth is, the tragic incident in Memphis appears to get uglier by the day. Even if it turns out to be a random traffic stop carried out by violent police officers, the callous disregard for human life exhibited by the shared photos is difficult to comprehend.