After Tyre Nichols' Death, Memphis Police Deactivate Scorpion

After Tyre Nichols’ Death, Memphis Police Deactivate Scorpion

Following Tyre Nichols’ passing, the Memphis Police Department announced that its Scorpion unit had been permanently dissolved. The agency said in a statement on Saturday that it was in everyone’s best interests to permanently disband the SCORPION Unit after carefully listening to the family of Tyre Nichols, community leaders, and impartial officers who had performed well in their duties.

The officers assigned to the squad “agree wholeheartedly with this next step,” the statement reads. It is crucial that we, the Memphis Police Department, take proactive measures in the healing process for all those impacted, even though the atrocious deeds of a select few shed a stain of dishonor on the title “SCORPION.”


The information was made public the day after authorities made an available video that showed five former Memphis police officers hitting and kicking Nichols during a traffic stop on January 7. The 29-year-old passed away on January 10, three days later.

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Scorpion, which stands for Street Crimes Operation to Restore Peace in Our Neighborhoods, included all five officers. When the murder rate in the city was on the rise and the public demanded action, the renowned anti-violence squad was established in November 2021.

Eliminating the unit was only one step in bringing justice to Nichols’ family, according to Benjamin Crump and Antonio Romanucci. The decision to permanently dismantle this unit was found to be appropriate and proportional to Tyre Nichols’ tragic loss, as well as a decent and just choice for all Memphis residents, according to a statement released by the Nichols family and their legal team on Saturday.

The pair expressed their desire that other cities will similarly use their saturation police units. According to the department, the Memphis unit consisted of four teams of cops whose main goal was to lessen violent crime “and the saturation of hot point areas around the city.”

In his State of the City address in January 2022, Mayor Jim Strickland emphasized the unit as a component of the answer, praising it as part of a strategy to combat crime that also included a program to intervene in gun violence and additional funding for the police force. According to the mayor, the team made over 566 arrests during its first three months of operation and seized 253 guns and more than $103,000 in cash.

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The police department fired the five officers, who were then charged with second-degree murder, two counts of official misconduct, two counts of aggravated kidnapping, one count of official oppression, and one count of aggravated assault. The five officers are Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Justin Smith, and Desmond Mills Jr.



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