Memphis ‘SCORPION’ unit disbanded following death of Tyre Nichols

The Memphis Police Department declared on Saturday that it has discontinued its “Scorpion Unit” permanently subsequent to the passing of Tyre Nichols. Those in the Scorpion Unit were involved in the traffic stop on January 7 that authorities state caused Nichols to die at a local hospital days later.

In a statement, Memphis Police said, “Today, Memphis Police Officers assigned to the SCORPION Unit (Street Crimes Operations to Restore Peace in Our Neighborhoods) had a meeting with Chief Cerelyn ‘C.J.’ Davis to discuss the future plan for the department and the community in the wake of the lamentable death of Tyre Nichols.

“In the procedure of attentively listening to the family of Tyre Nichols, community leaders, and the uninvolved officers who have done commendable work in their assignments, it is in the greatest interest of all to permanently deactivate the SCORPION Unit.”

“The officers currently assigned to the unit agree unreservedly with this next step. While the heinous actions of a few casts a cloud of dishonor on the title SCORPION, it is imperative that we, the Memphis Police Department take proactive steps in the healing process for all impacted,” the police department said.

The current officers assigned to the unit are in agreement with the next step. Despite the disgraceful actions of a few, it is essential for the Memphis Police Department to take proactive steps to begin the healing process for those impacted by the incident.

Five former Memphis police officers were discharged and charged with crimes such as second-degree murder, aggravated assault, and other offenses.

The events leading up to the incident began on January 7, when police officers stopped Nicholas for alleged reckless driving. An altercation ensued, leading to Nicholas attempting to flee the officers.

When officers caught up to him, a second altercation occurred and Nicholas expressed shortness of breath. After apprehending him, emergency services were called and Nicholas was taken to St. Francis Hospital in a critical state, later passing away on January 10.

The body camera footage reveals Nicholas saying “I didn’t do anything” as officers pulled him out of the car. Additionally, officers can be seen punching, kicking, and hitting Nicholas with a baton multiple times.