After the release of the video of the attacks that led to the death of Tyr Nichols, the Memphis police decided to disband the “Scorpio” unit, which incorporated the five officers who participated in the attacks that caused the death of a young African-American man. . The team was created in November 2021, tasked with fighting crime in the most violent areas of Memphis.
When the Scorpion unit was announced, Police Chief Sean Jones said the team would focus on crimes related to gangs, drugs and car theft. “It’s important to us that every member of the community feels like they can go to the grocery store or be at home without frequent shootings on the streets or in the streets,” the officer said, according to the newspaper. Los Angeles Times.
The first numbers were impressive: in just three months of activity, the unit arrested 566 suspects, seized more than 103 thousand dollars in cash, 270 vehicles and 253 weapons. The radius of action of this unit was concentrated in the areas with the highest crime rate in a given period, with agents being deployed in the areas that recorded the most calls for assistance to the emergency services.
Despite the practical results, there were reports of excessive force being used. Before the decision was even announced, Nichols’ family attorneys, Benjamin Crabb and Antonio Romanucci, signed a letter sent to the Memphis Police Department, calling for Scorpion’s disappearance. Attorneys say they have received complaints from other residents, as well as photographic evidence of other attacks.
“He said he was confronted by this unit and he was brutalized. He had pictures of the injuries. Therefore, it was foreseeable that something so tragic would happen,” assured Benjamin Crump, referring to a 66-year-old man, one of the alleged victims of this unit’s brutality.
Images of the attacks that culminated in the death of Tyree Nicholls have sparked outrage in the United States, with US President Joe Biden admitting he was “outraged” after seeing the video of the operation. For the past two nights, protesters have taken to the streets, a justified rebellion in the eyes of the President, who is asking only that no acts of violence be committed.
Tire Nichols was stopped by a patrol car on Jan. 7 for an alleged traffic violation. “I didn’t do anything,” the young man said when the police approached him. The agents already had guns in hand, with the young man not showing any violent behavior and trying to defuse the situation. “I’m just trying to get home,” the agent said in the footage. When threatened with a taser, Tyron manages to evade the cops on foot. He is intercepted a short time later by the same patrol car. The images that follow show Tyro already on the ground immobilized, getting hit in the eyes with one spray pepper spray.
The most striking images are those captured by a surveillance camera installed on a street light pole, where you can see how the agents kicked Nichols, including in the head, and beat him with a bat. Tyr was on the floor, barely conscious, but the violence didn’t stop. At one of these moments, two police officers lift the young man from the ground and make him sit down. Unable to hold on, he is supported in this position by two agents while a third hits him on the back with an extendable cane. Tyre called his mother several times, with the violence occurring a few meters from the house.
It took the emergency team 26 minutes to reach the scene. Nichols died three days later in hospital from his injuries.