MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — The arrest of five Memphis police officers could lead to hundreds of other cases getting dropped, according to a former assistant district attorney.
Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr., Justin Smith, Demetrius Haley, and Tadarrius Bean have been added to the county’s Giglio list, according to a document obtained by WREG.
”The Giglio list is a list of officers who’ve had some kind of prior dealing where they’ve been found to be untruthful,” said Josh Corman, who worked as an assistant prosecutor in the Shelby County DA’s office for 5.5 years and now works as a defense attorney.
Corman said prosecutors are likely going to drop a lot of pending cases.
“I’m sure the office is going back through and figuring out what cases those officers were involved in and can they still make a case or is this a case that needs to get disposed of?” he said. “Certainly dozens of cases, maybe even hundreds of cases.”
Prior to the Nichols case, Mayor Jim Strickland often talked about the good work of Memphis Police and blamed the courts for being too easy on defendants.
“The court system is failing,” he told WREG on January 11.
But Corman said prosecutors can’t do their jobs in court because of bad work by Memphis police officers; that goes beyond the five officers charged in Nichols’ death.
“As a prosecutor I spent so much time before a trial having to re-investigate or track down people whop the police never considered talking to,” Corman said.
Strickland says the impacts of the officers’ arrests are still unclear.
“You can’t blanketly say all these cases are compromised. You have to know the individual circumstances. Obviously, the DA will dig in on that on a case-by-case basis,” Strickland said.
WREG asked why the sixth fired officer, Preston Hemphill, has not been added to the Giglio List. The DA’s office said it’s still under investigation.
A spokesperson for Mulroy also said they’re still considering whether to look back at all adjudicated cases that involved the five former officers.