Memphis police shut down SCORPION unit whose officers are charged in death of Tyre Nichols

On Saturday, The Memphis Police Department confirmed that it had shut the SCORPION unit, which is a specialized crime group, in which the officers who have been charged with the death of Tyre Nichols were a part of.

The five officers who were caught on video kicking, striking and pepper-spraying Nichols have all been charged with second-degree murder.

The Memphis Police Department said, “It is in the best interest of all to permanently deactivate the Scorpion unit,” following protests from the family of Tyre Nichols and other activists.

Police officials confirmed that they arrived at this decision after “listening intently to the family of Tyre Nichols, community leaders and the uninvolved officers who have done quality work in their assignments.” Cerelyn Davis, the Memphis police chief, met with other members of the unit on Saturday.

“The officers currently assigned to the unit agree unreservedly with this next step,” the department said in the statement. It added that while the “heinous actions of a few” cast a cloud of dishonor on the unit, “it is imperative that we, the Memphis Police Department, take proactive steps in the healing process for all impacted.”

Lawyers for the Nichols’s family said the decision was “appropriate and proportional.”

SCORPION is an acronym for “Street Crimes Operation to Restore Peace in Our Neighborhoods.”  It was formed when the city’s murder rate had been climbing leading to residents fearing for their safety.

SCORPION consisted of 40 officers who drove around the city in unmarked cars.  The officers would regularly make traffic stops and seize weapons.

 Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland also wrote said that the city of Memphis was “initiating an outside, independent review of the training, policies and operations of our specialized units.”   




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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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