One of the five Memphis, Tennessee police officers facing murder charges for the death of Tyre Nichols is from Connecticut, his lawyer confirmed.
On Thursday, Desmond Mills Jr. was charged with second-degree murder and other counts related to Nichols' death. The other officers facing similar charges are Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III and Justin Smith.
Nichols is a Black motorist who died three days after a confrontation with officers during a traffic stop.
During a news conference, Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy said that although the officers each played different roles in the killing, “they are all responsible.”
Get New England news, weather forecasts and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NECN newsletters.
School officials in Bloomfield said Mills graduated from Bloomfield High School in 2008.
"Bloomfield Public Schools is aware of the disturbing situation involving five police officers in Memphis, Tenn. We can confirm that one of the officers – Desmond Mills Jr. - is a graduate of Bloomfield High School, Class of 2008. We will have no further comment on this, as it is a criminal matter," a statement from Bloomfield Public Schools says.
The officers, who are all Black, each face charges of second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression.
Memphis Cops Charged With Murder
Attorney Blake Ballin said during a press briefing Thursday that the attorneys are getting to know their clients and thinking about potential defenses.
“I’ve spent some time with Desmond Mills and have learned a lot about his background and what I’ve learned so far is that he is known, not only here locally, but back where he’s from in Connecticut, as a just a gentle, respectful father, family man,” Ballin said.
“Not only is Mr. Mills obviously devastated to find himself charged with a crime, but as somebody who is on the other side of law enforcement, somebody who has been in charge of keeping our community safe to be accused of something like this hurts him on another level,” Ballin added.
Video of the Jan. 7 traffic stop is expected to be released to the public Friday evening. Nichols’ family and their lawyers say the footage shows officers savagely beating the 29-year-old father and FedEx worker for three minutes.
Earlier this month, the officers were fired for excessive use of force, failure to intervene and failure to render aid.
Mills has posted a $250,000 bond, according to officials.