Police In Memphis Disband Unit That Brutally Killed Tyre Nichols
(CTN NEWS) – MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The so-called Scorpion unit of the Memphis Police Department was abolished on Saturday due to a “cloud of disgrace” raised by recently released footage showing some of the unit’s members fatally assaulting Tyre Nichols after stopping the Black driver.
Following the release of the disturbing video, Police Director Cerelyn “CJ” Davis took action. She claimed that in reaching her decision, she consulted Tyre Nichols’ family, local leaders, and uninvolved police.
As the country and the city tried to comprehend the savagery of the Black officers, she made her declaration.
The video raised additional questions regarding why tragic interactions with law enforcement continue to occur despite repeated demands for change.
As they marched through Memphis’ downtown, protesters applauded when they learned that the unit had been disbanded. The protester who stated, “the unit that killed Tyre has been permanently disbanded,” used a bullhorn.
Davis contradicted an earlier declaration that she would preserve the unit by referring to “the atrocious deeds of a few” that dishonoured the unit. In her words, the agency must “take proactive efforts in the healing process.”
She stated, “it is in the greatest interest of all to permanently deactivate the Scorpion unit.” She claimed that the cops in charge at the time “unreservedly” concurred.
The squad is made up of three teams of roughly 30 cops, and its declared goal is to target violent offenders in high-crime neighbourhoods. It hadn’t been used since Tyre Nichols’ arrest on January 7.
Street Crimes Operations to Restore Peace in Our Neighborhoods is known as Scorpion.
READ MORE: Video Shows Tyre Nichols’ Brutal Beating By Memphis Police
In a Friday interview with The Associated Press, Davis stated that even if a few cops perform “some terrible conduct,” she would not shut down a unit because she needs it to continue operating.
Then Davis remarked, “I have a problem with the premise that the Scorpion unit is poor.”
One year after Minneapolis police killed George Floyd, Davis became the first Black woman to hold the position of chief in Memphis. She had demanded extensive police reform while she was in Durham, North Carolina chief,’s at the time.
The action was “a decent and just decision,” according to the Tyre Nichols family’s attorneys Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci.
As it is obvious that this wrongdoing is not limited to these specialty units, we must remember that this is only the next step in the quest for justice and accountability. It goes on for so much longer, they claimed.
Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Desmond Mills Jr., Emmitt Martin III, and Justin Smith, the five disgraced policemen, have been dismissed and charged with murder and other offenses in connection with Nichols’ passing, which occurred three days after the arrest.
If they are found guilty of second-degree murder, they could spend 60 years in prison.
The video footage made public on Friday shows officers brutally hitting the 29-year-old FedEx employee for three minutes while yelling obscenities at him.
The Tyre Nicholsfamily’s legal team has compared this attack to the historic police beating of Rodney King in Los Angeles in 1991.
Before his limp body is leaning against a squad car and the officers shake hands, Nichols cries out for his mother.
The video also raised a lot of issues regarding the traffic stop and the other law enforcement officials who observed Tyre Nichols as he lay unmoving on the pavement while they stood by.
“Nobody made an effort to halt anything. After watching the video, Brenda Goss Andrews, president of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, stated that they had an obligation to step in and provide care.
She was also shocked by the officers’ outright hostility as soon as they exited the vehicle: “It just went to 100…. Goss Andrews stated, “The young man never had a chance from the minute he was stopped. This was never an issue of de-escalation.
Other officers, according to Davis, are the subject of investigations, and Shelby County Sheriff Floyd Bonner confirmed that two deputies had been relieved of their duties while an inquiry into their actions is ongoing.
The family will “continue to pursue justice,” according to Tyre Nichols’ stepfather Rodney Wells, who also claimed that those who neglected to provide aid are “just as accountable as the officers who threw the punches.”
A spokesman for the Memphis police declined to comment on the actions of the other officers.
After the video surfaced, cities all around the country readied for protests, yet there were only a few peaceful rallies.
Numerous protesters shut down the Memphis Interstate 55 Bridge that crosses the Mississippi River and leads to Arkansas.
Additionally, protesters obstructed traffic in Portland, Oregon, Los Angeles, and New York City.
The films, according to Mills’ attorney Blake Ballin, “raised as many questions as they have answers,” he said in a statement to AP on Saturday.
Some of them, according to Ballin, will centre on Mills’ “knowledge and what he was able to view” and whether his actions “stepped the lines that other officers broke during this incident.”
Davis stated that the absence of a supervisor in the arrest was a “serious problem” and recognised that the police department is experiencing a supervisor shortage. More of them will be available, according to city officials.
Why the traffic stop took occurred in the first place is unclear. On video, an officer is heard saying that Nichols wouldn’t stop and swerved as if he were going to hit the officer’s car.
According to the officer, the officers leaped out as soon as Tyre Nichols approached a red light. However, Davis said that the department could not support the basis for the stop.
She continued, “We don’t know what happened; all we know is that the force used in this circumstance was excessive.
Tyre Nichols can be heard saying, “I didn’t do anything,” as a bunch of officers starts to wrestle him to the ground after the first officer roughhouses, pulling him out of the car.
There is a voice shouting, “Tase him! Tase him!”
“OK, I’m on the ground,” Tyre Nichols says reassuringly, adding that he was merely trying to get home. He commands them to “halt” a short while later.
After then, a Taser is fired while an officer sees Nichols fleeing. The police begin pursuing Nichols.
Before Tyre Nichols is apprehended at another crossroads, others are contacted, and a search is conducted. His family reported he was trying to get to his mother’s house, where he lived, which was only a few houses away.
The police kicked, punched, and struck the man with a baton. Even after he falls, the attack goes on.
After that, no medical assistance is given for more than 20 minutes.
Officers make jokes and vent their frustrations while they wait for an ambulance. They say that a portable radio was damaged, a flashlight was misplaced, and the pepper spray hit many officers used to subdue Tyre Nichols.
They make statements regarding Nichols‘ actions throughout the films that are either not supported by the video or are contradicted by the district attorney and other officials.
In one, an officer alleges that Nichols grabbed for the officer’s gun during the initial traffic stop and nearly put his hand on the handle, something that is not shown in the video.
Several cops claim that Nichols must have been high after they find him in handcuffs and resting against a police vehicle.
One later claims that there were no narcotics in Nichols’ car, and another quickly responds that he must have dumped something while fleeing.
The Rev. Al Sharpton claimed that the beating was terrible because the officers were also Black at a lecture on Saturday in Harlem.
“The fact that you are black won’t stop us from battling you. These five police officers not only degraded their identities, but also our race, according to Sharpton.
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