Former Memphis police officer charged in Dyer Nichols’ death pleads guilty



CNN

One Five former Memphis police officers Dyer was charged in Nichols’ January death He pleaded guilty to federal charges on Thursday and agreed to plead guilty to related state charges as part of a plea deal with prosecutors.

Desmond Mills Jr., 33, pleaded guilty to two of the four federal charges he faces. US Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Tennessee. According to the Shelby County District Attorney, he has agreed to plead guilty in state court in an upcoming trial on charges related to Nichols’ death.

Mills pleaded guilty to civil rights and conspiracy charges, including use of excessive force and failure to intervene, as well as conspiracy to conceal the use of unlawful force, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

As part of the deal, he will be called to testify against the other defendants, according to prosecutors. He agreed to fully cooperate with a federal civil rights investigation into the methods and practices of the Memphis Police Department.

In exchange for his cooperation in the cases of four fellow former officers, Thadarius Bean, Justin Smith, Emmitt Martin III and Demetrius Haley, Mills agreed to settle both his state and federal lawsuits. They all pleaded not guilty.

Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy said at a news conference that state and federal prosecutors will recommend to the judge that Mills serve 15 years in prison, though the decision is up to the judge.

Mulroy said attorneys have consulted with the Nichols family and their legal counsel, and they fully support the deal.

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“His cooperation will help bring all those criminally responsible to justice, while also identifying the need for systemic reform within the police force,” Mulroy said in a statement.

“Today’s plea confirms that this is the beginning of full justice for (the family),” said Ben Crump, an attorney for Nichols’ family.

After about 10 months the trial came NicholsA 29-year-old black man was brutally beaten by Memphis police officers and died in hospital from his injuries.

Contact began when members of the Memphis Police Department Special Scorpion Group conducted a traffic stop on Nichols for suspected reckless driving, who fled the scene on foot. Officers ran after and grabbed Nicholas, punching and kicking him repeatedly while he was already restrained, then slumping him against the car for crucial moments. A video of the incident shows.

The beating and Nichols’ death led to protests and vigils in Memphis and other major U.S. cities, reigniting a contentious debate about the ways police and law enforcement treat black people.

Alex Slitz/AP

Protesters march in Atlanta on January 28, 2023, over the death of Dyer Nichols, who was beaten to death by Memphis police.

After an internal investigation, Memphis police Five officials were identified and removed They were involved in the traffic stop because they violated several departmental policies, including “use of excessive force, duty to intervene and duty to render aid.”

Published by the City of Memphis Body camera and surveillance video A traffic stop and police confrontation showed officers hitting Nichols multiple times without provocation. The video also undermines key parts of the police version of events.

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According to a statement of facts included in the plea agreement, Mills arrived at the scene and followed Nichols, used his pepper spray and struck Nichols with a baton several times. Later, he failed to treat Nichols or tell paramedics about the beating, lied to his supervisor that they did “everything by the book,” and filed a false and misleading account of the force used in a police report, the report said.

There were five officers Charged in Tennessee state court along with counts of murder, assault and kidnapping in connection with Nichols’ death.

Also, on the authorities in September A Federal indictment with four felony charges including civil liberties, conspiracy and obstruction charges for causing Nichols’ death. Two cases carried a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

The Accusation was charged Officers using unreasonable force, failing to render medical aid, conspiring to conceal the use of unlawful force, and intentionally providing false and misleading information in an arrest report.

Mills initially pleaded not guilty to the federal charges and was released on bond. A jury trial has been set for May 2024, according to court records.

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