Memphis Police Department deactivates its Scorpion unit following the death of Tyre Nichols.
On Saturday, Memphis PD released a statement addressing its Scorpion (Street Crimes Operations To Restore Peace In Our Neighborhoods) unit.
According to the statement, the department is permanently deactivating the unit just three weeks following Tyre’s death. The dismantling comes after authorities released video footage showing five Memphis officers attacking Tyre.
— Memphis Police Dept (@MEM_PoliceDept) January 28, 2023
“In the process of listening intently to the family of Tyre Nichols, community leaders, and the uninvolved officers who have done quality work in their assignments, it is in the best interest of all to permanently deactivate the SCORPION Unit,” the statement says.
On January 7th, Tyre Nichols was stopped by Memphis officers for reckless driving. Earlier this week, authorities released the body cam footage that showed what occurred during the stop.
Officers Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Justin Smith and Desmond Mills Jr., were all seen repeatedly punching and kicking Tyre. Unfortunately three days later, the 29-year-old died from his injuries.
All five of the officers were members of the Scorpion unit. Scorpion is an anti-violence unit that was created in November 2021 to combat the city’s crime rate.
The Nichols’ family attorneys, Benjamin Crump and Antonio Romanucci says the family approved of eliminating the unit.
“The Nichols family and their legal team find the decision to permanently disband this unit to be both appropriate and proportional to the tragic death of Tyre Nichols. And also a decent and just decision for all citizens.”
Nevertheless, officers that were assigned to the Scorpion unit will be reassigned to other divisions. Meanwhile, the five officers have been fired and charged with second-degree murder, two counts of official misconduct, two counts of aggravated kidnapping, once count of official oppression and one count of aggravated assault.