Memphis lowered education and fitness requirements before hiring police officers now charged in Tyre Nichols’ death
By JD Heyes // Jan 31, 2023

A report over the weekend stunningly revealed that a couple of the five Memphis police officers involved in beating Tyre Nichols earlier this month, allegedly causing his death, were hired after the department lowered its education and fitness standards due to chronic hiring shortages in the age of "defund the police."

Nichols succumbed to his injuries and died on Jan. 10, three days after he was pulled over for a traffic stop, according to local media. All of those involved — Nichols and the five officers who now stand accused of murdering him — are black.

According to a report from The Daily Wire:

Officers Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmit Martin III, Desmond Mills, Jr., and Justin Smith have all been charged with two counts of official misconduct, local media reported, with one count of official oppression, second-degree murder, aggravated assault-act in concert, and two counts of aggravated kidnapping. The New York Post reported that Bean and Haley joined the Memphis Police Department during the summer of 2020 as riots related to the death of George Floyd rocked the nation.

Bean and Haley’s hiring by the department in August 2020 came two years after the department significantly lowered the education required to join the force.

The lowered standards meant that police recruits were no longer required to have an associate’s degree or 54 college credit hours in order to join the force, according to The Post, and instead could replace the education requirement with job experience. However, the New York outlet quoted experts who spoke on the record saying that the lowered requirements meant that “less desirable” candidates were being hired by the department.

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“A LinkedIn post by law enforcement official Karan Parmar claimed that sources inside the department said that the officers were not hired through the normal process that the department had implemented,” The Daily Wire noted.

The Post Millennial added:

In 2021 and 2022, recruitment was struggling so badly that the department offered $15,000 signing bonuses. Last year, the department also reportedly lowered the fitness requirements, doing away with the timed physical ability test. The department even offered waivers for felons to join the force... 

Haley in particular has a troubled past that seems to have been overlooked by MPD in the hiring process. As NBC reports, he was accused of taking part in the beating of an inmate named Cordarlrius Sledge about eight years ago when he worked as a corrections officer for the Shelby County Corrections Department.

“According to a source within the Memphis PD, the 5 charged officers weren’t hired through the usual structured PD hiring process,” Parmar said. “City leaders felt the existing process was too strict and kept certain people from getting jobs at the department. City leaders began their own hiring process and then pushed new hires into the agency, bypassing the testing procedures in place at the department. You can read between the lines what that all means.”

“All 5 of the charged officers were hired by the City, and didn’t go through the rigorous PD testing process,” the statement continued. “This is what quota hiring looks like. Lawsuits and dead innocents. The city should pay (sic) the lawsuits instead of the Police department. This Murder wasn’t created by old school policing or by ‘white supremacy’. This murder was directly facilitated by liberal policy.”

A 2016 lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for Western Tennessee accused Haley of punching Sledge in the face as another officer slammed him into a sink face-first. "After that, I blacked out," he said in the lawsuit which was dismissed in 2018 after Sledge could not complete the paperwork because he was in federal custody.

Here's another bit of irony: A local news report in 2021 praised efforts by the Democrat-run city to recruit more officers "of color" allegedly because they would be likely to "use force far less frequently than white male officers."

Another Democrat-run city that disparaged police now can't hire any, and those who do sign on have anger management problems. Does anyone see disaster on the horizon?

Sources include:

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