Memphis PD permanently becomes the ‘Scorpion’ entity behind the assassination of Tire Nichols SCHROTTEN
The Memphis Police Department confirmed Saturday that it was disbanding the elite street crime unit SCORPION after several members were involved in the traffic stop that led to the beating and death of Tire Nichols.
The unit was created to combat rising violent crime, but critics say its aggressive tactics and lack of oversight are a recipe for tragedies like Nichols’ fatal caning, revealed in all its brutality in footage released Friday .
The decision came after Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn “CJ” Davis met with members of the unit Saturday “to discuss the way forward for the department and the community following the tragic death of Tire Nichols.”
Officials concluded that it was “in everyone’s best interest to permanently disable the SCORPION unit,” the statement said.
SCORPION officials “agreed unreservedly” with the decision, the department added.
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, representing the Nichols family, said such units could turn into “a pack of wolves” and called for an end to the SCORPION unit.
“We believe that this was a pattern and a practice, and Tire is dead because that pattern and practice was not verified by the people who were supposed to be checking that,” Crump said at a news conference Friday.
Five officers were charged with second-degree murder in Nichols’ death, although it was unclear how many of them were part of the SCORPION unit and MPD has not released that information.
An officer involved in the fatal Tire Nichols traffic stop wears a hoodie belonging to the MPD Organized Crime Unit of which SCORPION is a part
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, representing the Nichols family, said street crime units like SCORPION could turn into “a pack of wolves” and called for the unit to be disbanded
The newly released footage from the first traffic stop that led to Nichols’ death shows officers in the unit’s preferred unmarked Dodge Chargers, wearing hoodies with the logo of the organized crime unit to which SCORPION is a part.
Founded in October 2021 due to the pressure of increasing crime, SCORPION stands for Street Crimes Operation to Restore Peace in our Neighborhoods. Your mission is to curb homicides, muggings, and robberies.
Memphis officials said the unit is made up of about 40 officers in four teams that focus on crime hotspots.
Each team has members focused on auto theft, gang investigations and “fighting crime,” Mayor Jim Strickland said in a January 2022 speech.
A 2021 video of the unit’s launch showed several dozen officers, mostly men, going through roll call before going on patrol. Some wore civilian clothes and drove unmarked cars.
In the first months of its existence, between October 2021 and January 23, 2022, SCORPION made 566 arrests.
Cops are seen alongside the type of unmarked Dodge Charger favored by SCORPION teams after Tyre Nichols was hit after a traffic stop on January 7th
Founded in October 2021 due to the pressure of increasing crime, SCORPION stands for Street Crimes Operation to Restore Peace in our Neighborhoods
According to Strickland, 390 of these arrests were for criminal offenses. Officers seized tens of thousands of dollars and over 250 guns, the mayor said.
However, there have already been complaints about SCORPION’s allegedly clumsy tactics.
Cornell McKinney told WREG-TV that the same SCORPION team involved in Nichols’ death stopped him on January 3, four days before the fatal blow to Nichols.
“All I’ve heard is, ‘Stop, get out of the car. Raise your MF hands before I blow your heads off. Both get out of the car. Hands up,” he said, recalling the incident that happened as he was driving home with a friend.
“So I put my hands up, and one of the officers came to the car, and he physically pulled me out by my shoulder with a gun no more than a foot from my head,” McKinney said.
McKinney said the officers accused her of having drugs in the car and demanded to know which of the two friends had the drugs.
But he says the cops then admitted they hadn’t found any drugs and let the two men walk free.
Later, when he saw the officers charged in Nichols’ death, he recognized their faces as the same officers who had stopped him.
The five police officers – Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith – have since been fired and charged with second-degree murder.
Charged with second degree murder are (top left to right) Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III and (bottom left to right) Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith
Tire Nichols is pictured in hospital after the incident. The 29-year-old from Memphis died of cardiac arrest and kidney failure on Jan. 10, three days after he was pulled over by police for reckless driving in unmarked cars
A former veteran Memphis police officer who said he knew each of the accused ex-cops told CBS News that “for the most part, you have to be a daredevil” to join the SCORPION unit.
“You have to be someone who wants to make a difference, who wants to catch the bad guy,” he said of the unit’s “proactive” mindset.
“I never thought that would happen,” added the former officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Because at least some of the officers accused of Nichols’s murder were affiliated with SCORPION, questions have been raised as to whether they acted as part of the unit when they stopped him for allegedly reckless driving.
Nichols, a 29-year-old black man, died in hospital three days after the January 7 violent physical altercation with the five black officers.
The five officers have since been charged with second-degree murder, assault, kidnapping, official misconduct and official repression and have been fired from their jobs.
The Nichols case has raised concerns that the unit has deviated from its core mission, had inadequate oversight and employed tactics that increased the risk of violence.
Crump, the attorney for Nichols’ family, pointed out that Nichols’ encounter with the police began with a traffic stop, which falls outside the unit’s mandate to combat violent crime
Crump, the attorney for Nichols’ family, pointed out that Nichols’ encounter with the police began with a traffic stop, which falls outside the unit’s mandate to combat violent crime.
Critics say such stops are an excuse to look for guns or drugs and could escalate into violence.
It’s not the first time such entities have come under scrutiny.
In 2020, following the police killing of George Floyd, New York City disbanded its Anti-Crime Unit, which operated with similar tactics and goals to SCORPION.
Last January, the Anti-Crime Unit was curtailed amid rising violent crime, weeks after Mayor Eric Adams, a former NYPD captain, took office and vowed to crack down on crime.
Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis this week announced a review of all police department special forces, including SCORPION, in response to Nichols’ death. She called the incident “disgusting, inconsiderate and inhumane”.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk
https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/celebrity/memphis-pd-will-permanently-scrap-scorpion-unit-behind-tyre-nichols-killing/ Memphis PD permanently becomes the ‘Scorpion’ entity behind the assassination of Tire Nichols SCHROTTEN