As per the disciplinary records made public by the Memphis Police Department, one of the ex-Memphis police officers accused in the fatal assault of Tyre Nichols had previously faced disciplinary action for neglecting to disclose his involvement in another incident of physical assault.
Desmond Mills, a 29-year-old, was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Nichols, which occurred in 2021. He was one of the five ex-officers who were arrested for failing to report the use of physical force during a previous arrest.
Based on the disciplinary records, Mills aided three additional officers in apprehending a woman on March 21, 2019. He seized her by the limbs and brought her down to the floor as another officer placed handcuffs on her. He stated that the woman was exhibiting resistance during the arrest.
The woman later filed a complaint against the police officers in Memphis, alleging that one officer grabbed her after she refused to get into his squad car, and that a second officer began beating her with a black object, slamming her head into the squad car and grabbing her hair, despite her denying any involvement and reporting injuries including swelling, abrasions, and a black eye.
The woman, Mills, had to use physical force to restrain the known document, “Response to resistance form,” after it had been required to fill out.
Mills was disciplined only for his failure to report the incident, and he was not accused of using excessive force in the incident himself.
The disciplinary hearing said that Mills’ summary document was mentioned twice. However, he did not realize that his actions were being applied to it. Officer Mills stated that he was familiar with completing the response to the resistance document in Team Blue. He was also explained that if an individual refuses to comply with verbal commands, he is required to use physical force to gain compliance. It was emphasized that he should complete the response form for resistance.
Mills was penalized for not reporting the utilization of force, while one-third was disciplined for “excessive and unnecessary force,” and subsequently, two of the officers engaged in the apprehension were also disciplined.
The defense attorney for Mills did not promptly reply to Insider’s request for a statement.
In March 2019, Mills was given an additional written admonition for accidentally letting a device provided by the department fall onto a road, where it got crushed by a passing car, in a distinct incident of disciplinary action.
While he entered his police vehicle, it slipped out from his pocket, where Mills mentioned that he was responding to a call about an accident on the highway and had placed his “personal digital assistant,” as stated in the disciplinary documents.
The policy department’s records said that Mills had violated the equipment of handling carelessly or roughly by adding, “An unknown vehicle ran over your PDA and went into the street, and then the PDA came out.”
Another police officer forcibly removed a woman from her vehicle and caused her shoulder to become dislocated, in an incident that occurred in 2021. This officer faced a comparable written reprimand for the same incident. It is important to note that former officer Demetrius Haley, who is currently facing charges in relation to the beating death of Nichols, is not the sole officer who was disciplined for neglecting to report the use of force. Officer Mills is also among the disciplined officers for failing to report a use of force.
In total, four out of the five officers accused in Nichols’ demise had previously been punished for different issues.