During a visit to his cousin outside an apartment complex in Memphis, Tennessee, on the evening of Jan. 4, a Black army veteran named Monterrious Harris says armed men in ski masks and black clothes surrounded his car and threatened to shoot him if he didn't get out.
According to Harris, these men were not carjackers, as he had initially thought, but Memphis police officers who had brutally beaten Tyre Nichols, resulting in his death days later.
Harris's attorney alleges officers from the department's discontinued "Scorpion Unit" called him racial slurs, demanding that he exit the vehicle "or be shot."
Harris, who served several years in the military before being medically discharged, initially panicked and attempted to reverse, hitting an object behind him. After that, he exited his vehicle with his hands above his head, hoping they would leave him alone. According to the lawsuit, after he exited the car, the officers "exacted a swift, violent, and continuous physical assault on Mr. Harris that included punching, stomping, and dragging him across concrete."
As part of the civil lawsuit, which seeks $5 million in damages and a jury trial, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills, Justin Smith, Demetrius Haley, and Tadarrius Bean are being prosecuted for second-degree murder in connection with Nichols' death and have been terminated from the Memphis Police Department. In addition, the Memphis Police Department is named, as well as four other officers named John Does 1 - 4.
The Memphis Police Department's practices have been exposed in a very harsh light as a result of Nichols' brutal beating. For more than a decade, Memphis police officers have engaged in police brutality, disproportionately against Black men, according to the civil lawsuit.
The Memphis Police Department is due for a serious reckoning for its heinous and unbridled violence against Black folks, and all occurrences of violence from the department need to be exposed.
Source: Vice News