MEMPHIS, Tenn — One former Memphis police officer charged in the murder of Tyre Nichols' must surrender his law enforcement certification license.
According to Attorney Blake Ballin, his client Desmond Mills Jr. will be officially decertified by the Tennessee Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission (P.O.S.T) after he surrenders his certification, making him ineligible to ever work as a law enforcement officer in Tennessee again.
Attorney Ballin provided a statement, explaining why Mills is surrendering his certification now:
Mr. Mills is focused on preparing a defense to the pending indictment, and therefore intends to surrender his certification. This simply means that he can no longer be a law enforcement officer in the state of Tennessee. An agreed upon order will be submitted to the committee at their upcoming meeting. P.O.S.T gave notice that they were seeking the termination of the certification and that he had a right to contest that action at a hearing. Despite the fact that he maintains his innocence, Mr. Mills has no intention of continuing to work in law enforcement in Tennessee. Therefore, he has no incentive to contest this administrative action. It is essentially meaningless, and Mr. Mills has wisely chosen to focus his attention elsewhere.
Ballin did not say exactly when Mills will surrender his certification.
The MPD disciplinary report detailed several ways Mills and the other four officers charged in Nichols' murder were determined to be in violation of law enforcement protocol.
P.O.S.T. abides by rules and regulations, setting distinct grounds for decertification of certified law enforcement officers. The grounds for decertification of a Tennessee law enforcement officer can be found in the POST Commission rules here.
To view Mills' full individual disciplinary report, click here.
Although Mills will be decertified, he has not been found guilty of any charges in the court of law, and the case is ongoing.
Mills and the other four officers charged with Nichols' murder, Demetrius Haley, Tadarrius Bean, Emmitt Martin III and Justin Smith, all face charges of second degree murder, aggravated assault – acting in concert, aggravated kidnapping causing bodily injury, aggravated kidnapping while possessing a weapon, official misconduct thru unauthorized exercising of official power, official misconduct thru failure to perform a duty imposed by law, and official oppression.
They all await their next scheduled court hearing.
ABC24 has reached out to attorneys representing the other four former MPD officers charged with Nichols' murder. It is unclear if those officers plan to surrender their certifications at this time.
ABC24 has also reached out to MPD, Attorney Ben Crump and D.A. Mulroy for comment.
We are working to learn more details.