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Memphis cop Demetrius Haley, who was charged in Tyre Nichols’ death, previously beat up prison inmate: lawsuit

A man who alleges one of the former Memphis police officers accused in the death of Tyre Nicholas also beat him told The Post, “That could have been me.”

“I could be dead. As it is my body still hurts from the beating. It’s gonna hurt for life,” Cordarlrius Sledge told The Post.

Sledge alleged in a 2016 lawsuit that Demetrius Haley, 30, who then worked as a correction officer, participated in a prison beatdown of him.

Sledge, who filed the lawsuit on his own behalf, said Haley and another officer punched him in the face during a search for contraband, according to court papers. He accused a third guard of slamming him face-first into a sink.

“I had some contraband on me and I was trying to flush it down the toilet but they didn’t follow protocol. Haley was the most vicious,” he said.

 He said he blacked out and woke up in his bed with blood pouring out of his ear.

“There was so much blood on my pillow. It damaged my right ear for life,” he said.

Sledge said he got an apology from the warden at the prison but nothing from Haley, who was working for the Shelby County Corrections Department.

Haley joined the Memphis police department in August 2020.

“He got a promotion from corrections officer to police officer,” Sledge said. “I didn’t believe my damn eyes.”

Sledge, who was serving time for aggravated assault, is now living in a Memphis halfway house.

body cam footage of arrest
Sledge alleges that Haley participated in a prison beatdown of him during Haley’s time as a correction officer.
Memphis Police Department
Body camera footage of the arrest was released Friday evening.
Body camera footage of the beating was released Friday evening.
City of Memphis


Tyre Nichols bodycam police arrest
Five officers involved in the January 7 arrest of Nichols have been charged with murder.
City of Memphis
Demetrius Haley
Former Memphis Police Officer Demetrius Haley was accused in a lawsuit of beating up an inmate.


Haley denied in court papers that he assaulted Sledge. The lawsuit was dismissed after Sledge failed to provide the court with requested information.

Read more of the Post’s coverage of Tyre Nichols’ beating death

No one answered the door at Haley’s house Saturday.

He and the other officers were fired Jan. 20.