Tyre Nichols' Rumored Connection to Cop's Ex-Wife Under Investigation

The Memphis Police Department is currently investigating rumors regarding a possible connection between Tyre Nichols and the ex-wife or ex-girlfriend of one of the Memphis cops arrested and charged in Nichols' death.

On Wednesday morning, Newsweek asked the Shelby County district attorney's office if it is investigating possible rumors connecting Nichols to the ex-girlfriend or ex-wife of former Memphis cop Demetrius Haley. Additionally, Newsweek asked about rumors that Haley sent photos of Nichols to his ex-wife following the violent arrest of the 29-year-old Black man.

"All of this is still under investigation. Those are the things, along with the participation of others, that [are] now the subject of our investigation," a spokesperson for the Shelby County district attorney told Newsweek in response.

Erica Williams, the director of communications at the Shelby County district attorney's office, clarified to Newsweek that rumors about Nichols having a connection to the woman have not been "confirmed."

"We know that there have been questions about other officers and Fire Department personnel on the scene, persons remotely operating cameras, the potential of false reporting, among other things. We are now at the stage of our investigation where we are looking into all of these matters," Williams told Newsweek.

"At this time none of those accusations are confirmed. However, nothing is off the table as this is a very active investigation—and still early in the investigation," Williams added.

Last week, five former Memphis Police Officers were charged in the death of Nichols, who died from injuries following a traffic stop in the Hickory Hills neighborhood.

The five officers—identified as Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Desmond Mills, Jr., Emmitt Martin III and Justin Smith—were all charged with one count of second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression.

The officers executed a traffic stop of Nichols on January 7, and he was hospitalized shortly afterward with critical injuries.

"On January 10th, doctors pronounced him deceased," the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said in a statement.

Tyre Nichols
A memorial is displayed for Tyre Nichols in Boston on January 28. Inset, a Memphis Police Department vehicle is seen on September 7, 2022, in Memphis, Tennessee. On Wednesday, the Shelby County district attorney's office told Newsweek that it is investigating rumors associated with Nichols' death. Joseph Prezioso / AFP; Brad Vest/Getty Images

Following the death of Nichols, rumors circulated on social media that there was a connection between the ex-girlfriend or ex-wife of Haley and Nichols.

"BREAKING NEWS: I am being told that Tyre Nichols was in a relationship with and worked at a Memphis @FedEx with #MemphisPolice Demetrius Halys's ex-girlfriend & baby mama. After the beating Officer Halys took a pictures of #TyreNichols face and sent it to his babymama," actor Sir Maejor wrote on Twitter.

Newsweek previously conducted a fact check surrounding the claim and rated it as "unverified" due to a lack of evidence.

Additionally, Facebook user John Best said that he recently spoke with Nichols' parents, who said that the rumor was not true.

"After the introduction, I asked them any message that they want me to send to the community and pops said, YES!!! and with a stern and firm tone, he said SQUASH THAT RUMOR ABOUT OUR SON DATING ONE OF THOSE OFFICERS WIVES/GF. PLEASE SQUASH THAT RUMOR THAT IS NOT TRUE," Best, who is the general manager for the schools' radio and TV station in Memphis-Shelby County, wrote in the Facebook post.

In a tweet on Wednesday afternoon, Alex Caprariello of NewsNation wrote: "Re: claims that #TyreNichols was in a relationship with the ex-partner of Officer Demetrius Haley and that Nichols was targeted because of it, a spokesperson for Nichols family attorney says they have no evidence to support that rumor."

Newsweek reached out to Nichols' family attorney Ben Crump for comment.

Update 2/1/23, 4:59 p.m. ET: This story has been updated with new information from the Shelby County district attorney's office and further context from Nichols' family.