MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — WREG Investigators have confirmed the Memphis Police Department has requested the five former officers terminated after the beating and death of Tyre Nichols be decertified.
The decertification request from MPD was submitted to the Tennessee Peace Officer Standards & Training Commission (P.O.S.T.) a spokesperson with the state confirmed.
Decertification would prevent officers from joining other law enforcement agencies. POST handles certification, standards and training for law enforcement across the state.
Records show Justin Smith, Desmond Mills Jr., Emmitt Martin III, Demetrius Haley and Tadarrius Bean, who were fired along with one other officer after Nichols’ death, were released on bond after they were booked into the Shelby County Jail.
All five officers were charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, two counts of aggravated kidnapping, two counts of official misconduct, and official oppression.
Individuals can be decertified for a number of reasons including criminal conduct and policy violations. The POST Commission must approve the decertification and officers have a right to appeal.
A 2016 WREG investigation found that of 114 MPD officers that had been arrested since 2011, fewer than 30 were decertified.
Background on Decertification in Tennessee
According to a spokesperson, decertification requests are typically presented to an informal committee before moving to the full commission. However, the spokesperson said alleged criminal matters are usually always sent forward for a formal hearing.
State regulators also explained officers are entitled to a complete hearing “that is presided over by a legally licensed official to make rulings on procedure and evidence presentation while each side presents their case.”
If the officer’s certification is revoked they have a right to appeal first to Chancery Court in Davidson County and all the way up to the Supreme Court.