One of the Memphis police officers charged with the murder of Trye Nichols snapped a photo of the 29-year-old father — bloodied and handcuffed — and sent it to six people after they brutally beat him, according to a report.
Officer Demetrius Haley — who was fired from his job after the killing — took two photographs of the critically injured Nichols driver on his personal phone, according to a state document obtained by the Memphis news station WREG.
The 30-year-old officer texted the photos of Nichols, who was propped against a car as he was unable to sit up on his own, to two fellow cops, a civilian employee of the police department and a female acquaintance, the record states.
A sixth person also received the pictures, according to the document, which the Memphis Police Department submitted to a state board to request the five officers charged in Nichols’ death be decertified and ineligible to work as cops in Tennessee.
Haley and the four other officers — Tadarrius Bean, 24; Emmitt Martin III, 30; Desmond Mills, Jr., 32, and Justin Smith, 28 — are accused of fatally beating Nichols after they pulled his car over near his mother’s home on Jan. 7.
Disturbing bodycam footage of the assault shows the officers repeatedly punching, kicking, pepper-spraying and tasing Nichols for approximately three minutes, while he desperately called out to his mother.
The videos of the beating, released by the city last month, also appeared to show Haley standing over Nichols a few minutes after the beating. He can be seen shining a flashlight onto Nichols and appears to snap two photos with his cellphone.
Nichols, a FedEx worker and photographer, died at a local hospital three days later.
The cops said they pulled him over for reckless driving, however, the police chief has since said the department could not find evidence to support the claim.
The five officers were fired and have each been charged with second-degree murder, two counts of official misconduct, two counts of aggravated kidnapping, one count of official oppression and one count of aggravated assault, authorities said.
A sixth officer, Preston Hemphill, who wasn’t involved in the beating but fired a Taser at Nichols, was also suspended. He was recorded on bodycam footage saying, “I hope they stomp his ass” in reference to Nichols.
Three members of the Memphis Fire Department were also terminated for failing to adequately assess Nichols’ condition after arriving at the scene.
Nichols, a father of one, was remembered at a moving funeral service attended by 2,500 mourners last week.
“For this to happen to him is just unimaginable,” his grieving mother RowVaughn Wells said during the service. “I promise the only thing keeping me going is I truly believe my son was sent here on an assignment from God and I guess now his assignment is done — and he’s been taken home.”