Photo: Joe Raedle / Staff via Getty Images
  /  02.04.2023

A Memphis man has come forward with new allegations against the five officers involved in the brutal beating of Tyre Nichols.

Monterrious Harris claims he was allegedly roughed up by officers Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith on Jan. 4. “They were trying to pull me out of the car, but my car was locked,” Harris told NBC News. “I thought someone was trying to carjack me. I didn’t know they were officers.”

The five men were all involved in the Jan. 7 traffic stop that left Nichols with severe injuries. He died three days later at the age of 29. The officers have since been terminated from the force and face multiple federal charges, including second-degree murder.

In his encounter with the police, Harris said that he was sitting in his car at the Twin Oak Apartments when he was approached. He recalled them being dressed in all black with ski masks and no visible affiliation with the Memphis Police Department as they ordered him out of his vehicle. Harris recalled one of the officers hitting the window of his Chrysler 300 as the others surrounded him. “Get out the car, or I’m going to shoot,” yelled one of the men.

Harris said he made an attempt to flee out of fear but struck a wall while doing so. “At that point, I got out of the car,” he said. He then alleges that he was slammed to the ground and repeatedly punched in the face. The 22-year-old said one of the officers told him, “You almost got your head blowed off.”

Following Nichols’ death, it was revealed that the former patrolmen were members of a special street crime unit known as the SCORPION unit. The department announced the disbandment of the nine-member unit on Jan. 28. “The officers currently assigned to the unit agree unreservedly with this next step. While the heinous actions of a few casts a cloud of dishonor on the title SCORPION, it is imperative that we, the Memphis Police Department, take proactive steps in the healing process for all impacted,” it said in a statement.

As for Harris, he said he plans to sue the city and the police department. It is not lost on him that his interaction with the officers could have ended in tragedy similar to Nichols’. “I really felt like God was with me,” he said.



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