‘I was punched, dragged’: Man speaks out about alleged assault by MPD’s SCORPION Unit officers

Published: Feb. 8, 2023 at 6:27 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Over a month has passed since the brutal arrest of Tyre Nichols, another Memphis man who lives in the same Hickory Hill community claims the same SCORPION Unit officers beat him as well.

“I got my head slammed to the concrete, a gash, my head open. I was punched, dragged across the concrete, scraped my knees up real bad,” said 22-year-old Monterrious Harris.

On Tuesday, Harris filed a $5 million federal lawsuit against the City of Memphis, six former Memphis Police Department (MPD) officers who were also involved in Nichols’ Jan. 7 traffic stop, and four other John Does.

Harris claims the alleged attack happened Jan. 4 while he was visiting his cousin at the Twin Oaks Apartments complex just before 9 p.m.

“They just kept forcing me to get out of the car and kept threatening to shoot me,” said Harris. “I didn’t know whether I was being robbed, or they were trying to take my car.”

In the 38-page lawsuit, Harris said the men who approached him and demanded he exit his car wore ski masks. Harris said he tried to leave the situation by reversing, but ended up hitting something.

“I put my hands up, you know, and I’m like, ‘What’s going on?’” said Harris.

He claims the officers never identified themselves and beat him for about two minutes. He said his screams for help were heard by neighbors who made the officers stop.

Jarrett Spence is one of the attorneys representing Harris. Spence said Harris’ constitutional rights were violated.

He also said the SCORPION Unit officers falsified charges in the affidavit of complaint while failing to mention their assault.

“So [Harris] was arrested, and he spent three or four days in jail after being released from the hospital,” said Spence.

Memphis police say during their encounter with Harris, officers searched his car and found drugs and a loaded handgun. Resultingly, Harris faces drug and weapons charges.

Harris is seeking five million dollars in his lawsuit.

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