Another Memphis man — who was allegedly beaten by the same officers arrested in connection to the death of Tyre Nichols — filed a $5 million lawsuit against the City of Memphis and the individual officers.
The suit was filed against Emitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr., Justin Smith, Demetrious Haley ,Tadarrius Bean and four others known as John Does 1-4. These men were part of the now-disbanded Scorpion unit.
In the midst of these events, one fruit borne of Nichols’ death is the exposure of another allegedly brutal Memphis Police Department encounter with yet another young, Black man, Monterrious Harris.
Attorney Robert Spence, Jr, wrote: “This lawsuit is Mr. Harris’ account of the unconstitutional abuse and suffering at the hands of the very same police unit that extinguished the life of Mr. Nichols.”
Harris, 22, was attacked three days before Nichols, after backing into a parking space at his cousin’s apartment complex.
“Since the men were wearing black ski masks that covered their faces and Memphis Police Department paraphernalia was not immediately apparent or visible, Mr. Harris reasonably concluded that he was being robbed,” Spence Jr. wrote in the statement. “None of the men wearing black ski-masks who approached Mr. Harris’ vehicle asked him for his license, vehicle registration, or advised him of the reason they had surrounded his vehicle.”
Harris alleged that during the assault, his face was slammed into a concrete walkway. Once others started noticing the attack, the unit’s members handcuffed him and transported him to jail, even though he was bleeding from his head, had a swollen left eye, and had difficulty walking because his right leg was swollen and his left leg was gashed from the assault.
The suit also alleged the officers falsified an affidavit of complaint and included false charges against Harris.
The lawsuit named previous other practices of the Memphis Police Department that led to other civilians facing hurt at the hand of police.
Spence added: “Since its organization, the Scorpion Unit has terrorized numerous citizens, especially African-American men, in communities throughout the City of Memphis. Specifically, at all times relevant hereto, the Scorpion Unit marauded around African-American neighborhoods and harassed citizens by performing suspicion-less custodial and automobile stops for which there were no legal justifications.”
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