Man files lawsuit against city, officers accused of killing Tyre Nichols, for similar alleged assault days prior

Monterrious Harris
Monterrious Harris(Brandon Dill/NBC News)
Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 3:25 PM CST

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A man is suing the City of Memphis, as well as the five officers charged with killing Tyre Nichols, for an alleged assault that he says happened days before Nichols’ death.

Monterrious Harris says on January 4, three days before Nichols was stopped by the SCORPION Unit, he was beaten by the same officers who swarmed him while he was visiting his cousin at an apartment complex in Memphis.

The lawsuit alleges the officers were wearing black ski masks and never identified themselves as police officers.

The lawsuit claims the officers punched, stomped and dragged Harris across the concrete. After a witness interrupted the alleged attack, Harris was then taken into custody and was later checked out at the hospital.

“It was not until he arrived at the criminal justice center than an on-duty nurse ordered that he be taken to the hospital for emergent medical observation and treatment. Fortunately, unlike Mr. Nichols, Mr. Harris survived his encounter with the Scorpion Unit and is alive and able to recount the events,” the lawsuit states.

The officers involved in the lawsuit include Emmitt Martin, Desmond Mills, Justin Smith, Demetrius Haley and Tadarrius Bean. Those five officers have all been charged with second-degree murder for the death of Tyre Nichols. Four John Does are also listed in the lawsuit, as well as the City of Memphis.

The SCORPION Unit, meanwhile, has since been permanently deactivated.

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