MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — One of the former Memphis police officers fired after the arrest and death of Tyre Nichols faced a previous lawsuit from an inmate who claimed he was beaten unconscious.
The case goes back to 2016 when the inmate filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Demetrius Haley, who at that time worked at the Shelby County Corrections Department.
Haley is one of the five officers fired from the Memphis Police Department following Nichols’ death Jan. 10.
According to a lawsuit from several years ago, another man, who was an inmate at the Shelby County Correctional facility, claimed Haley and other officers beat him so badly he passed out.
The man alleged he was strip-searched in a restroom by Haley and another officer while a sergeant supervised.
He claims the officers told him he tried to flush contraband and went on to say Haley and another officer punched him in the face. At one point, he claims he was picked up, slammed face-first into a sink, and then to the floor before he passed out, waking up in a medical unit.
In 2018, a judge dismissed the case, citing failures by the plaintiff for not submitting necessary information when requested.
According to Memphis Police, Haley was hired by the department in August 2020.
For now, it’s unclear what Haley’s role was in the incident earlier this month that landed Tyre Nichols in the hospital and died three days later.
A statement from attorneys Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci Tuesday states that an independent autopsy confirmed that Nichols’ suffered “extensive bleeding caused by a severe beating.”
MPD announced Haley’s termination last week. We requested Haley’s files from when he worked for the county and the city. We also reached out to the Shelby County Mayor’s office.