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Former Memphis officer charged in Tyre Nichols death allegedly beat jail inmate years earlier


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One of the former Memphis police officers charged in the death of Tyre Nichols was accused of participating in the beating of a jail inmate at the Shelby County jail years earlier. 

The 2015 assault involving Demetrius Haley was so savage that 34 inmates, an entire cellblock, signed a letter to the corrections director. 

"We are truly asking that this matter gets looked into before someone gets hurt really bad or lose their life because of some unprofessional officers," the letter stated.


The letter asked how inmates are supposed to feel "safe and secure when the staff members at the Shelby County Correctional Center are assaulting and threatening us?"

"Please put a stop to this madness," it ended. 

Fox News Digital has reached out to the county. The inmate who was injured, Cordarlrius Sledge, filed a federal lawsuit in 2016 against Haley. It was dismissed because Sledge failed to file a grievance with the jail. 

Haley worked for the Division of Corrections until hired by Memphis Police in 2020. The hiring came at a time when the department lowered its standards to fill vacancies. He previously applied to the department but was rejected. 

Haley is charged with second-degree murder, along with ex- officers Tadarrius Bean, Desmond Mills Jr., Emmitt Martin III and Justin Smith in Nichol's death. All except Bean have infractions in their work records ranging from using physical force during an arrest to failing to report a domestic violence incident. 

All five former officers were also named in a legal action for allegedly beating a Black Army veteran days before their encounter with Nichols. 

Monterrious Harris was with his cousin on Jan. 4 when he was "suddenly swarmed by a large group of assailants wearing black ski-masks, dressed in black clothing, brandishing guns, other weapons, hurling expletives and making threats to end his life if he did not exit his car," according to the lawsuit. 

The Associated Press and Fox News' Chris Eberhart contributed to this report. 

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