Memphis cop accused of murdering Tyre Nichols ‘beat up a prison inmate, 30, when he worked as a correction officer’, lawsuit claims – as victim says: ‘That could have been me’
- A former Tennessee inmate accused one of the Memphis cops of beating him
- Cordarlrius Sledge claims Demetrius Haley attacked him at Shelby County jail
- Haley and four of his fellow former officers charged in the attack on Tyre Nichols
One of the former Memphis police officers who has been accused of murdering Tyre Nichols allegedly beat up a prison inmate when he worked as a correction officer.
Demetrius Haley, 30, was accused in a 2016 lawsuit brought by Cordarlrius Sledge, 34, of partaking in a violent beating inside Shelby County Division of Corrections.
‘That could have been me,’ Sledge told one outlet. ‘I could be dead. As it is, my body still hurts from the beating. It’s gonna hurt for life.’
Haley is one of five former Memphis cops charged in the brutal killing of Nichols, 29, who was stopped by officers on January 7 as he was driving home before he was wrestled out of his car, Tasered, and ran away.
The officers then caught up with him several minutes later and and viciously beat him, holding his wrists as they pummeled him and kicked him.
Before his January 2023 arrest in the death of Tyre Nichols, Demetrius Haley, 30, was accused of a brutal assault on a prison inmate in 2015
Cordarlrius Sledge, 34, accused Haley of partaking in a violent beating inside the Shelby County Division of Corrections in May 2015
Haley is one of five former Memphis police officers who have been charged in the brutal killing of Nichols, 29, who was stopped by officers on January 7 as he was driving home
Video of the incident was released Friday by the Memphis Police Department and sparked nationwide outrage and protests over the beating.
Nichols was battered so brutally he died on January 10 in the hospital from injuries sustained.
In an interview with the New York Post, Sledge spoke out on the lawsuit he filed against the institution and the officers.
The former inmate alleged Haley was one of the most vicious attackers in the group. The attack in question took place inside the facility on May 16, 2015.
Sledge, who was serving a three-year sentence for aggravated assault, filed the lawsuit on his own, alleging the group of corrections officers beat him during a search for a cellphone.
‘When they came in to do one of their little random pop-in search, they called me and two other guys to the shower area to be strip-searched,’ Sledge told NBC News.
‘I had some contraband on me and I was trying to flush it down the toilet but they didn’t follow protocol. Haley was the most vicious,’ Sledge said.
Haley joined the Memphis Police Department in August 2020
These are the five former police officers who were recently arrested and charged in the death of Tyre Nichols
The man accused another officer of slamming his face into a sink.
‘That’s when they started punching on me,’ he said. ‘They picked me up and slammed my head into the sink, and I blacked out.’
The former inmate said when he woke up after blacking out during the attack, he woke up in his bed with blood pouring out of his ear.
‘There was so much blood on my pillow. It damaged my right ear for life,’ he said.
Sledge told the Post he received an apology from the Shelby County Corrections Department warden but nothing from Haley.
The incident did not seem to impact the former corrections officer’s career as he later moved on to the Memphis Police Department in 2020.
Former Memphis police officers Tadarrius Bean (left) and Emmitt Martin III (right)
Former Memphis police officers Justin Smith (left) and Desmond Mills Jr. (right)
Court papers show Haley denied the accusations regarding the beating by Sledge.
The lawsuit was later dismissed after the plaintiff failed to provide the court with evidence they had requested.
Despite the lawsuit being dismissed, Sledge said he couldn’t believe it when he heard Haley had become a police officer.
‘He got a promotion, from corrections officer to police officer,’ Sledge said. ‘I didn’t believe my damn eyes.’
Haley, along with fellow former officers Tadarrius Bean, Desmond Mills, Jr., Emmitt Martin III and Justin Smith were arrested and charged with second-degree murder on Thursday.
In addition to second degree murder the five were also charged with aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression.
Second-degree murder, described by the Memphis District Attorney as a ‘knowing murder,’ is punishable by 15 to 60 years in prison under Tennessee law.
Tyre Nichols is pictured in hospital after the incident. The 29-year-old from Memphis died on January 10 from cardiac arrest and kidney failure
On Thursday afternoon DA Steve Mulroy briefed the press, saying his team had moved ‘swiftly, but also fairly’ to review the case that led to the charges against the five officers.
All five former police offices were arrested and held on bonds of up to $350,000.
Nichols, a 29-year-old FedEx driver, was pulled over on January 7 by the Memphis police for what was initially reported as reckless driving.
That interaction led to a violent confrontation that put him in the hospital, where he would die three days later due to ‘extensive bleeding caused by a severe beating.’
He reportedly suffered cardiac arrest and kidney failure following the allegedly brutal interaction with the officers.
WARNING: GRAPHIC LANGUAGE AND DISTURBING CONTENT
Nichols’s car is seen being pulled over at 8:24pm in south eastern Memphis on January 7
Nichols scrambles to his feet and runs. One officer yells: ‘Taser, taser!’ Nichols continues running, taking his t-shirt partially off as he runs
Video was finally released Friday by the Memphis Police Department showing the beating.
The video shows Nichols crying out for his mother multiple times during the brutal January 7 assault, which took place just 80 yards from his home.
‘Mom! Mom!’ Nichols screams as he is pinned to the ground by multiple officers.
In one video, the FedEx driver is pepper sprayed in the face, kicked and punched in the head, and struck with a metal baton.
‘Watch out – I’m going to baton the f*** out of you,’ one officer tells Nichols. He beats him, then walks away at 8:35pm, baton still in his right hand.
Outrage over the video has led to police departments across the nation preparing for unrest, with protestors expressing their outrage over the man’s death.
Officers wrestle with Nichols, lying on the ground
Nichols is seen propped up against the car, bloodied and barely conscious
Nichols is seem propped up against the car, with no one checking on him
The officers in the video are seen standing around and chatting while Nichols moans
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