After accepting a federal plea deal, former Memphis police officer Desmond Mills is expected to plead guilty to federal charges in the death of Tyre Nichols.
According to the Shelby County D.A.’s Office Mills, 33, will face 15 years in prison. In September of this year, Mills innitially pleaded not guilty to the charges and was released on bond.
The charges include second degree murder, aggravated kidnapping, and offocial misconduct, according to ABC 24 Memphis. The charges were brought against him by D.A. Steve Mulroy. The D.A. 's Office recommends that Mills serve 15 years in prison, and a final decision will be made by the judge in the sentencng hearing.
The charges made against Mills are centered around his “excessive use of force” when he and four other officers beat Nichols and refused to give him medical attention on January 7, 2023, according to ABC 24 Memphis. Mills is also accused of lying about the beating to his supervisors.
The four other former officers, Emmitt Martin III, Demetrius Haley, Justin Smith and Tadarrius Bean, were also charged with second-degree murder in connection with the death of Nichols, and have pleaded not guilty.
Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci, the attorneys representing the family of Nichols, said in a statement, “The MPD and its SCORPION unit directed, trained, and encouraged officers like Mills to commit baseless and horrific acts of violence against innocent individuals like Tyre Nichols. We vigorously restate our assertion that those policies were behind what ultimately caused Mills and four other Scorpion officers to kill Tyre Nichols,” they continued, “Mills was not an individual actor, and as our civil suit continues to unfold, that will become even more apparent.”
Three former Memphis Fire Department emergency medical technicians who were fired for failing to give Nichols medical aid are defendants in a civil lawsuit against the City of Memphis by the family of Tyre Nichols, according to ABC 24 Memphis.
The assault resulting in the death of 29-year-old Nichols was one of the countless violent police brutality incidents between police and Black people. His death ignited protests across the United States and brought the debate of police reform back on the table, front and center.
An autopsy report released on May 4 showed that Nichols died from intense blows to the head resulting in brain injuries, cuts and bruises on his head and other parts of his body, ruling the death as a homicide.
"I promise you that I wouldn't be standing here without your prayers," stated RowVaughn Wells, Tyre Nichols’s mother. "That's what keeps me going. It keeps me holding on.” She expressed gratitude to the Memphis community for their support, according to ABC 24 Memphis.
A jury trial is set for May of 2024, according to court records.
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