MPD terminates request to revoke retired lieutenant’s certificate

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) – The Memphis Police Department has dropped its request to revoke the license of a former MPD lieutenant.

Lt. Dewayne Smith, along with several other officers who were fired during the investigation into the death of Tyr Nichols, is scheduled to appear before the Peace Officer Training and Standards Commission in Nashville on Thursday.

Smith retired on March 1 after 25 years of service.

He was able to retire instead of being terminated. Memphis police say Smith violated policies on dereliction of duty, unauthorized public statements and compliance. The administrative charges were filed on February 22, and Smith is scheduled to be arraigned on March 2.

Smith did not appear at the hearing due to his retirement the day before.

Smith was a scene supervisor on Jan. 7 and responded to Castlegate Lane and Bear Creek Cove after officers beat Tyre Nichols.

Documents show Smith witnessed Nichols say “I can’t breathe” before he fell, but did not order the officer to remove the handcuffs or call for emergency medical personnel to provide care.

Investigators say he left and instructed officers to clear the scene before notifying an investigative agency.

Former MPD officers Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin, Desmond Mills, Justin Smith are also scheduled to be part of Thursday’s hearing.

If not certified, it means they cannot work as a police officer in any other department in the state.

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