Sun. Apr 2nd, 2023

The Memphis Police Division Saturday introduced that it has “completely deactivated” its SCORPION unit, at some point after the discharge of stunning video which confirmed the violent arrest of Tyre Nichols earlier this month. All 5 former officers concerned in Nichols’ arrest, who’ve since been charged with second-degree homicide in his demise, have been a part of that unit.

The choice got here after Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn “CJ” Davis met with members of the unit Saturday “to debate the trail ahead for the division and the group within the aftermath of the tragic demise of Tyre Nichols,” police stated in an announcement. 

Officers got here to the conclusion that it was “in the perfect curiosity of all to completely deactivate the SCORPION Unit,” the assertion learn.

SCORPION officers agreed “unreservedly” with the choice, the division added. 

The SCORPION unit had been inactive for the reason that Jan. 7 arrest of Nichols, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland had stated in a information bulletin Friday. 

Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis speaks throughout an interview with The Related Press in Memphis, Tennessee, on Jan. 27, 2023.

Gerald Herbert / AP

SCORPION, or Road Crimes Operation to Restore Peace in Our Neighborhoods, included greater than two dozen officers tasked with taking over avenue crime. They wore black hoodies and tactical black vests with “POLICE” emblazoned throughout the back and front, and drove darkish coloured Dodge Chargers marked with a SCORPION seal. 

They patrolled in teams and at occasions used low-level visitors stops as a technique to discover violent criminals, medicine or weapons, in keeping with the division.

“Whereas the heinous actions of some casts a cloud of dishonor on the title SCORPION, it’s crucial that we, the Memphis Police Division take proactive steps within the therapeutic course of for all impacted,” Saturday’s assertion learn. 

The 29-year-old Nichols died on Jan. 10, three days after being violently arrested throughout a visitors cease by Memphis law enforcement officials. Bodycam and surveillance video launched Friday confirmed Nichols being pepper sprayed, kicked within the head whereas being restrained, punched and struck a number of occasions with a baton.

The 5 former officers, who’ve since been fired, have been recognized as Demetrius Haley, Tadarrius Bean, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith. They have been employed from 2017 to 2020, and have been 24 to 32 years previous. All 5 officers have been charged with homicide and different crimes. 

In his information bulletin Friday, Strickland additionally wrote stated that town was “initiating an outdoor, unbiased evaluate of the coaching, insurance policies and operations of our specialised models.”     

— Pat Milton and Chrissy Hallowell contributed to this report. 

Police Reform & Racial Justice



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