Memphis cop Demetrius Haley, who was charged in Tyre Nichols’ death, previously beat up inmate, ex-prisoner alleges

One of the five former Memphis police officers accused of murdering Tyre Nichols allegedly beat up an inmate nearly eight years ago, according to his victim, who told The Post on Saturday, “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, 34. alleged in a 2016 lawsuit that ex-Memphis cop Demetrius Haley, 30, who then worked as a correction officer, took part in the May 16, 2015 beatdown inside the Shelby County Division of Corrections.

Sledge, who was serving a three-year sentence for aggravated assault, filed the lawsuit on his own behalf, and said Haley and another officer punched him in the face during a search for a forbidden cellphone, 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 alleges that Haley participated in a prison beatdown of him during Haley’s time as a correction officer.

Body camera footage of the beating was released Friday evening.


Five officers involved in the January 7 arrest of Nichols have been charged with murder.

Former Memphis Police Officer Demetrius Haley was accused in a lawsuit of beating up an inmate.


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

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

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

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

He and the other officers were fired on Jan. 20.

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