Tyre Nichols: Specialized police unit disbanded after nationwide protests

People protest next to a police car after the release of the body cam footage showing police officers beating Tyre Nichols, in downtown Memphis, Tennessee, US. (Photo: REUTERS//Leah Millis)

The specialized police squad that comprised the five Memphis officers accused of the deadly beating of Tyre Nichols was disbanded on Saturday, as other protests took place in US cities a day after a terrible video of the attack was made public.

After speaking with members of Nichols' family, community leaders, and other officers, the police department announced that the SCORPION squad would be permanently deactivated. A police official verified that all five policemen comprised the team.

The nation and the city of Memphis struggled to comprehend a video of police beating Tyre Nichols. The footage raised many unanswered concerns about the traffic stop involving the black motorist and other law enforcement officers standing by while he lay lifeless on the ground.

Three days after Nichols' arrest, the five former African-American officers of the Memphis Police Department were terminated and charged with murder and other offences concerning his death.

Friday's video release raised additional questions about why tragic confrontations with law officers persist despite repeated demands for reform.

The tape depicts officers brutally assaulting Nichols, a 29-year-old FedEx employee, for three minutes while shouting obscenities at him in an assault that the Nichols family's legal team has compared to the infamous 1991 police beating of Los Angeles motorist Rodney King. Nichols pleads for his mother before his limp body is placed in the back of a police car,,, and the cops exchange fist bumps.

The five cops,, Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Desmond Mills Jr., Emmitt Martin III, and Justin Smith,, face up to sixty years in prison if found guilty of second-degree murder.

Director of the Memphis Police Department Cerelyn CJ Davis stated that the conduct of additional officers is being investigated, and sheriff of Shelby County Floyd Bonner said that two deputies had been relieved of duty without pay,,, pending the outcome of the conduct inquiry.

The family will continue to pursue justice, according to Nichols' stepfather, Rodney Wells,,, "And underlined that several other cops failed to offer aid, making them just as complicit as those who delivered the blows.

A Memphis police spokesperson declined to comment on the role of other officers who responded to the incident.

Widespread protests

Cities across the country had prepared for demonstrations, but the protests were dispersed and peaceful.

Several dozen of protesters in Memphis obstructed the Interstate 55 bridge that crosses the Mississippi River into Arkansas. Demonstrators also impeded ,Demonstrators also impeded New York City, Los Angeles, and Portland, OregonDemonstrators also impeded New York City, Los Angeles, and Portland, Oregon.

On Saturday, On Saturday, On Saturday, Blake Ballin, the attorney for Mills, stated that the tapes had generated as many questions as answers. Some of the inquiries will centre on what Mills knew and what he could observe, as well as if his actions " and whether his actions " according to Ballin.

Davis stated that the so-called Scorpion unit conducted the arrest consists of three teams of approximately 30 cops that target violent offenders in high-crime areas.

In an interview on Friday, she stated that she would not disband a unit if a few officers committed a heinous deed, as she requires the team to continue operations.

A few hours later, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland stated that the unit had been inactive since the January 7 arrest.

It was a city,,, "Strickland announced in a statement that he was launching an external, independent evaluation of our specialized units' training, regulations, and operations.

Davis recognized that the police department had a deficit of supervisors and stated that the absence of a supervisor during the arrest was a significant issue.

"The city administration has vowed to offer more of them.

Unanswered questions

Why the traffic stop occurred in the first place was a topic of much speculation. One officer is heard stating that Nichols refused to stop and then swerved as if he meant to collide with the officer's vehicle. According to the officer, when Nichols stopped at a red light, the officers jumped out of their car.

Davis, however, stated that the department lacks evidence to support the stop's rationale.

She added that we have no idea what transpired, adding that all we know is that the level of force used in this case was excessive.

As a bunch of officers drag Nichols to the ground, he can be heard shouting, "I didn't do anything", as the first officer forcibly removes him from the vehicle.

A police officer is heard shouting, "Tase him!" Tase him! Okay, I'm on the ground, Nichols says with composure. "Nichols remarks that you guys are currently undertaking a great deal. "I'm attempting to return home." Stop; I'm not doing anything! Afterwards, he yells.

Nichols is then seen fleeing as a police officer fires a Taser at him. His relatives believed he was attempting to reach the location of the assault, which was only a few homes away from his mother's house, where he resided. Officers pursue Nichols after that.

Nichols is apprehended at another crossroads when additional officers are dispatched,,, and a search follows. The officers struck him with a baton and punched and kicked him.

Publish : 2023-01-29 17:16:00

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