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Tyre Nichols and the SCORPION unit

Protesters block traffic as they rally against the fatal police assault of Tyre Nichols, in Memphis, Tennessee.
Protesters block traffic as they rally against the fatal police assault of Tyre Nichols, in Memphis, Tennessee.

On Friday night, footage of Tyre Nichols‘ fatal encounter with police officers was made public. And once again, the nation is struggling to come to grips with the violence by police officers. 

The officers who beat Nichols to death were a part of the Memphis’ so-called SCORPION unit originally put together in 2021 to add extra visibility in the community. SCORPION stood for Street Crimes Operation to Restore Peace in Our Neighborhoods.

On Saturday the Memphis Police Director Cerelyn “CJ”Davis said she was disbanding police unit in a “cloud of dishonor.” She said she listened to Nichols’ relatives, community leaders and uninvolved officers in making the decision.

We’ll discuss why the police unit was disbanded and whether it will have an impact on the culture of law enforcement.

Copyright 2023 WAMU 88.5

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