Desmond Mills, who was one of the former Memphis Police officers charged in the beating death of Tyre Nichols, recently surrendered his license to practice law enforcement in the state of Tennessee, according to a report by WREG Memphis.

In a statement to WREG, Mills’ attorney Blake Ballin – who called the surrendering of the license “meaningless” – said, “Mr. Mills has taken the position that, well, you don’t want me to work for you. Guess what? I don’t want to work for you anyway. The state of Tennessee has wrongfully accused him of murder and other crimes. Why would he want to continue to be employed by them?”

Mills is one of the five former Memphis officers charged with second-degree murder in the beating death of Nichols during a traffic stop. The Tennessee Star reported that four of the five officers fired and criminally charged in Nichols’ death have previous disciplinary complaints records.

Mills’ personnel file, obtained by WREG at the time, showed that he was issued a written reprimand for failing to fill out a response to resistance form – which must be filled out if an officer uses any part of their body “to compel compliance.”

In addition, Mills was accused of using excessive/unnecessary force during an arrest following a traffic stop that resulted in a wreck; however, that violation was not sustained.

Mills’ file also showed that he was issued a written reprimand for “Rough or Careless Handling of Equipment.”

Mills and the other four officers charged in Nichols’ death were also part of a special, 40-member SCORPION (Street Crimes Operation to Restore Peace in Our Neighborhoods) unit established in October 2021, which has since been permanently deactivated. SCORPION was described as an “elite crime-fighting unit” prior to Nichols’ death.

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Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network.
Photo “Desmond Mills, Jr.” by Memphis Police Department est.1827. Background Photo “Courtroom” by Clyde Robinson. CC BY 2.0.