Home World News Memphis Disbands ‘Scorpion Unit’ of Police After Fatal Beating Video Sparks Shock, Outrage

Memphis Disbands ‘Scorpion Unit’ of Police After Fatal Beating Video Sparks Shock, Outrage

Memphis Disbands ‘Scorpion Unit’ of Police After Fatal Beating Video Sparks Shock, Outrage


The US metropolis of Memphis on Saturday disbanded the particular police unit whose officers fatally beat a younger Black man, after graphic video of the assault sparked widespread shock and outrage.

The video, which reveals 5 officers repeatedly kicking and punching 29-year-old Tyre Nichols as he moans and calls out for his mom, triggered requires police reform amid the anger.

The southern US metropolis on Saturday introduced it had deactivated the officers’ particular unit, often called Scorpion, which was launched in 2021 to scale back criminality by assigning extra police to high-crime areas.

The Memphis Police Department mentioned in a press release it was “in the very best curiosity of all to completely deactivate the SCORPION Unit,” which stands for Street Crimes Operation to Restore Peace in Our Neighborhoods.

“The officers currently assigned to the unit agree unreservedly with this next step,” the division added.

Several dozen demonstrators known as for police reform Saturday afternoon as they gathered within the chilly rain in entrance of metropolis corridor shouting “No justice, no peace!” and carrying signs with slogans such as “Justice for Tyre Nichols.”

At one level, a police automotive ended up surrounded by a bunch of protesters, who directed their indignant chants on the automobile.

Memphis City Council member JB Smiley Jr addressed the gang’s calls for, talking to protesters within the rain.

“Memphis has a chance to set the usual on how to answer actions like this,” he told them.

‘A horrible thing’

The five Memphis officers, who are all Black, were charged with second-degree murder in the beating of Nichols, who died in hospital on January 10 three days after being stopped on suspicion of reckless driving.

The lengthy video footage from police body cameras released Friday evening shows the group of officers detaining Nichols, attempting to take him down using a Taser, then giving chase as he evades them.

Subsequent segments — the footage runs about an hour in total, and is audio-only in parts — show Nichols calling for his mother, and groaning as officers repeatedly assault him.

“They had beat him to a pulp,” Nicholas’s mom RowVaughn Wells informed CNN Friday. “He had bruises throughout. His head was swollen like a watermelon. His neck was bursting as a result of of the swelling.”

Despite nationwide calls for police reform following George Floyd’s death and subsequent protests in 2020, the number of people who died during interactions with police hit a 10-year high in 2022, at 1,186 fatalities, according to the website Mapping Police Violence.

Nancy Schulte, 69, who works at a hotel in downtown Memphis, said she lost respect for city police after viewing the grim footage.

“It’s just a horrible thing,” mentioned Schulte. “Watching 5 huge guys beat the dwelling heck out of this man.”

‘Appropriate and proportional’

Even after the release of the video, some key questions remained unanswered, mainly what caused Nichols to be stopped.

Family attorney Benjamin Crump accused the police of trying to cover up their actions and insisted Nichols did not violate traffic rules or reach for the officers’ guns, as police say.

“This (violence) is institutional police culture. It does not matter if the police are Black, Hispanic, or white,” he mentioned on MSNBC Saturday morning.

“There is a few innuendo, some unwritten guidelines that if there’s a particular person of specific ethnicity that you may interact in extreme power in opposition to him.”

Nichols’ family called the disbanding of the Scorpion unit an “appropriate and proportional” response to their relative’s loss of life.

“We should needless to say that is simply the subsequent step on this journey for justice and accountability, as clearly this misconduct will not be restricted to those specialty items,” a statement from the family’s attorneys said Saturday.

“It extends so much further.”

‘Same old, same old’

Protests in Memphis, Washington, New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta and a handful of different cities on Friday night after the video was launched have been small and largely peaceable.

In addition to second-degree homicide costs, the cops are dealing with indictments for aggravated assault and aggravated kidnapping.

Robert Jones, 26, a salesman at a retailer in downtown Memphis, informed AFP he was dismayed that police brutality nonetheless runs amok.

“They say it’s a brand new 12 months, however standard, standard,” Jones mentioned.

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(This story has not been edited by News18 workers and is revealed from a syndicated information company feed)


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