The 7th Memphis officer fired after Tyre Nichols’ death is named in a decertification document

The name of a seventh Memphis police officer who was fired shortly after the fatal January beating of Tyre Nichols is revealed in a March document collected by a state law enforcement training and certifying commission, CNN learned this week.

The officer, Adrian Blakes, was fired on February 23, nearly seven weeks after Nichols was beaten following a January 7 traffic stop, according to documents that CNN obtained this week from the Tennessee Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission. There is no indication Blakes actively participated in the attack.

Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man, was violently beaten by Memphis police officers January 7 after he ran from a traffic stop, and he died January 10 in a hospital from his injuries, authorities have said.

By early February, the city of Memphis had said six officers were fired in connection with the Nichols case, five of whom were criminally charged in Nichols’ death. In March, the city announced that a seventh officer had been fired. The city did not release the name of that officer, who was not criminally charged.

Blakes is named in a March 3 request, from Memphis police to the standards and training commission, to decertify the officer. CNN obtained the document in a records request.

While Nichols is not mentioned by name in the decertification request, it references a January 7 incident involving a male who died on January 10. The document alleges Blakes saw officers kick the male, did not intervene, did not report the officers’ conduct, and later denied seeing the officers’ actions.

CNN has sought comment from Blakes.

Details from the document

Blakes on January 7 “responded to a call for assistance involving the foot pursuit of a subject that fled from officers,” the decertification request reads.

Blakes’ body camera “captured multiple officers attempting to restrain a male subject,” the document reads.

“Blakes observed two officers kick the male while he was down on the ground but did not intervene; nor did he report this conduct to a scene supervisor,” the document reads.

The document says Blakes did not mention the conduct during an interview with investigators and “denied observing the actions of those officers.”

Blakes was hired by Memphis police in 2019, according to commission documents.

The police interaction with Nichols began when members of Memphis Police Department’s specialized SCORPION team pulled Nichols over on suspicion of reckless driving, authorities said. Nichols fled the scene on foot. Officers ran after and caught up to Nichols, repeatedly punched and kicked him while he was already restrained and then left him slumped against a car for critical minutes, body camera and surveillance video of the incident shows.

The beating and Nichols’ ensuing death led to protests and vigils in Memphis and other major US cities, reigniting the contentious debate over policing and the ways that law enforcement treat Black people.

Five then-Memphis police officers – Tadarrius Bean, Justin Smith, Emmitt Martin III, Demetrius Haley and Desmond Mills Jr. – were charged in state court in February. The most serious charge that each face is second-degree murder.

In September, a grand jury indicted the five on federal civil rights, conspiracy and obstruction charges.

Last month, Mills pleaded guilty last month to two of the four federal charges against him, and agreed to plead guilty to related state charges, as part of a plea deal with prosecutors. As part of the deal, he will be called to testify against the other defendants, according to prosecutors. Mills also agreed to fully cooperate in a federal civil rights investigation into patterns and practices of the Memphis Police Department, officials said.

According to a statement of facts included in the plea agreement, Mills arrived at the scene and chased after Nichols, deployed his pepper spray and hit Nichols with a baton repeatedly. Afterward, he failed to render aid to Nichols or tell paramedics about the beating, falsely told his supervisor they had done “everything by the book,” and filed a false and misleading account of the force used in a police report, the statement says.

Police in February identified Preston Hemphill as a sixth Memphis police officer who was fired in the wake of Nichols’ death. The police department accused Hemphill, who was not criminally charged in the case, of violating departmental policies including those covering personal conduct and truthfulness.

CNN’s Eric Levenson contributed to this report.

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