More than a dozen police and firefighters from the Memphis, TN, police department are under investigation after the death of a 29-year-old man. It is not entirely clear what happened, but Nichols attempted to break away from the police officers, and they simply beat him to death. Ultimately, it sounded like the man had a panic attack, and the police killed him because he was not following instructions. The incident has resulted in second-degree murder charges filed against the officers, and now, several more are under investigation for the cover-up that occurred afterward.
We say a “few bad apples” without actually completing the thought. A few bad apples literally spoil the bunch. In this case, maybe one or two guys initiate violence against an unarmed man, killing him, but they’re so void of emotional control that they do not realize it was bad until after the man is on his way to the grave. They have left bodycam footage and evidence trail a mile wide. But they are not dead yet. They still control the information. So, they beg other officers to intervene on their behalf, and now those guys are out of a job, facing criminal charges, and will never work in law enforcement again.
The law makes it clear that you are an accessory after the fact (to murder) by engaging in the cover-up. Now, none of these officers were charged as accessories, but once a defense attorney catches wind that a government official has committed official misconduct, that parcel of information will make it into every case in which they are involved. Prosecutors will not be able to use their testimony in court. They are functionally useless to the law.