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 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 dishonored the unit.
The department must “take proactive actions in the healing process,” she insisted.
In a statement, she stated that “it is in the greatest interest of all to deactivate the Scorpion unit permanently.” She claimed the cops in charge at the time “unreservedly” concurred.
Street Crimes Operations to Restore Peace in Our Neighborhoods is known as Scorpion.
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 Nichols family’s attorneys, Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci.
As it is evident 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 Nichols family’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 many issues regarding the traffic stop and the other law enforcement officials who observed Nichols as he lay unmoving on the pavement while they stood by.
“Nobody made an effort to halt anything. According to Brenda Goss Andrews, head of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, “they must intervene and have a duty to provide care.”
She was also shocked by the officers’ outburst of aggressiveness 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 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.