Shelby County Sheriff’s Office via Associated Press
- A Memphis ex-cop involved in Tyre Nichols’ beating was previously disciplined.
- Records show that Desmond Mills Jr. received a reprimand for failing to report his use of force.
- A woman Mills helped arrest alleged that officers beat her and slammed her head into a squad car.
One of the former Memphis police officers charged in the beating death of Tyre Nichols was previously disciplined for failing to report his role in a different beating incident, according to disciplinary records released by the Memphis Police Department.
Desmond Mills Jr., one of the five ex-officers charged with second-degree murder in 29-year-old Nichols’ death, received a written reprimand in 2021 for failing to report his use of physical force during an arrest two years earlier.
Mills assisted three other officers in the arrest of a woman on March 21, 2019. He said the woman was resisting arrest, so he grabbed her by the arms and took her to the ground while another officer handcuffed her, according to the disciplinary records.
The woman later filed a complaint against the Memphis police officers involved, 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, grabbing her hair, and slamming her head into the squad car. She denied resisting arrest, and reported injuries including a black eye, abrasions, and swelling on her hands and face.
Mills had been required to fill out a document known as a “response to resistance form” after using physical force to restrain the woman.
Mills himself was not accused of using excessive force in the incident and was only disciplined for his failure to report the incident.
“Officer Mills stated he was familiar with completing the response to resistance document in Blue Team, but he did not realize it applied to his actions in this case,” a document summarizing Mills’ disciplinary hearing said. “It was explained to him if the individual refuses to comply with verbal commands and he is required to use any type of physical force to gain compliance, he should complete the response to resistance form.”
Two of the officers involved in the arrest were later disciplined for “excessive and unnecessary force,” and a third was disciplined for failure to report the use of force, as Mills was.
Mills’ defense attorney did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
In a separate disciplinary incident in March 2019, Mills received another written reprimand for dropping a department-issued device on a roadway, where it was run over by a car.
The disciplinary records said Mills reported responding to an accident call on the interstate and placing his “personal digital assistant” in his pocket, where it fell out while he got into his squad car.
“The PDA came out and went into the street and an unknown vehicle ran over your PDA,” the records said, adding that Mills had violated the department’s policy on “Rough or Careless Handling of Equipment.”
Mills is not the only officer who was disciplined for failing to report a use of force. Ex-officer Demetrius Haley, who is also charged in Nichols’ beating death, received a similar written reprimand for a 2021 incident in which he saw a fellow officer rip a woman from her car and dislocate her shoulder.
In total, four out of the five officers charged in Nichols’ death had previously been disciplined for various matters.