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Former TN police officers recommended for decertification after La Vergne, Memphis controversies

The officers were involved in controversies in the La Vergne Police Department and the Memphis Police Department.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Several former Tennessee police officers who were involved in controversies at Memphis and La Vergne are set to lose their badges after being recommended for decertification.

Henry "Ty" McGowan was fired in connection with a sex scandal at the La Vergne Police Department. An investigation was launched in December 2022 after the La Vergne mayor reported rumors of sexual acts to the city's human resources department.

The mayor said that he learned officer Maegan Hall was having sex with other members of LVPD. Those employees include Sgt. Lewis Powell, Officer Patrick Magliocco, Officer Larry Holladay, Detective Seneca Shields and Officer Juan Lugo-Perez, according to a report. The report also showed Shields told city officials that Hall performed oral sex on him while they were on duty inside the police department gym before returning to their desks.

The report also told of a “Girls Gone Wild”-type party involving multiple officers and their families in a hot tub on La Vergne police Sgt. Eric Staats’ houseboat.

The Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission recommended McGowan lose his badge over the controversy, according to reports.

Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin, and Justin Smith, all former Memphis Police Department officers were fired in connection to the death of Tyre Nichols. Video footage from his death showed them fatally beating him, prompting murder charges against five officers in total.

None of the officers discussed by the POST Commission appeared at the meeting, according to reports from WSMV, WBIR's sister station in  Nashville. They were recommended for decertification by default since they were not able to argue against information presented by their former departments.

On Friday, the full POST Commission will decide whether to take away their badges. If decertified, the officers would not be able to work in Tennessee law enforcement again.

This story was originally reported by WSMV in Nashville.

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