The five officers charged in Tyre Nichols' death are members of a special city crime-reduction unit that was deactivated over the weekend as Memphis looks for answers to Nichols' brutal killing. Also in the news: The hero who disarmed a gunman in Monterey Park, California, and saved lives was honored on Sunday and we now know who will be in Super Bowl 57.
🙋🏼♀️ I'm Nicole Fallert, Daily Briefing author. Click here if you need to drop a hint about receiving some Valentine's Day flowers.
Now, here we go with Monday's news.
US is watching what Memphis does next
A 50-person specialized Street Crimes Operation to Restore Peace in Our Neighborhoods Unit (SCORPION) launched to reduce crime in Memphis was deactivated over the weekend. The move came as the nation reacted to disturbing video of the fatal police beating by five officers of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols, which shows Nichols being tased, belted with a baton, repeatedly kicked in the face and brutalized despite seeming to put up no resistance. All five former officers charged in the killing are members of the unit.
One thing to know: Nichols was the fourth person to die after encounters with Memphis area law enforcement in a five-week span. It is historic for all Memphians to have video detail of police violence so soon. Swift termination and second-degree murder charges levied against the five officers, who are Black, also thrust Nichols’ death into the national eye.
Saturday's news followed calls from Nichols' family to dismantle the unit. Antonio Romanucci, Nichols' family attorney, said SCORPION and other specialized police units target the "most vulnerable" as he called on law enforcement agencies nationwide to examine their saturation units.
What's in the video: On Jan. 7, Memphis police officers punched, kicked and pepper-sprayed Nichols in a brutal and, ultimately, fatal beating, video footage shows, all less than 100 yards from his family’s home. He was first stopped at an intersection a half-mile away, and ran from officers after they pulled him from his car and gave him conflicting orders. Nichols died in the hospital three days later, on Jan. 10.
A week after Nichols died, his family hired civil rights attorney Ben Crump. A federal civil rights investigation came next, as local officials committed to an eventual release of footage. By the end of the week, the five officers had been terminated.
Remembering Tyre: Friends said he was a “free spirit" who reveled in skateboarding, a sport often intertwined with music and art. Skateboarding communities in Memphis and beyond have held tributes and expressed solidarity with Nichols and his family.
📷 Photo of the day: Protests across the U.S. following the death of Tyre Nichols 📷
Activists at marches in NYC, Chicago, Memphis and other cities in response to the publication of the brutal video of the beating by police of Tyre Nichols expressed exhaustion and rage at Nichols' killing. Read more about the protests and click here to see more photos from the weekend demonstrations.
Hero who wrestled gun from Monterey Park killer honored at Lunar New Year Festival
Brandon Tsay, who disarmed 72-year-old Huu Can Tran at the Lai Lai Ballroom in Alhambra, California, received a medal of courage and other recognitions from the Alhambra police, as well as city, county and state officials at the city's Lunar New Year Festival Sunday. Less than three miles away, the Jan. 21 Monterey Park rampage left 11 people dead and nine injured after that city's Lunar New Year festival. Tsay received several rounds of applause as people shouted “Thank you, Brandon” and called him a hero. "The situation still feels so surreal to me," Tsay said. "Most of the victims I knew personally." Read more
Do mass shootings cause more mass shootings? Research is divided.
Monterey Park, Half Moon Bay shootings make January one of most violent months on record.
A child shot his teacher, a 72-year-old man opened fire in public: Here's what that tells us about guns in America.
More news to know now
🌎 A suicide bomber killed at least 27 people and wounded 147 at a mosque in Pakistan.
⚫ Iowa law won't allow video release of Des Moines officers fatally shooting a 16-year-old, police say.
🏳🌈 A wave of anti-LGBTQ laws for schools in red states has the Biden administration weighing a response.
📰 Annie Wersching, ''24'' actor and Tess in ''The Last of Us'' video game, has died at 45.
🎾 Novak Djokovic beat Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Australian Open, tying the men's record with 22nd Grand Slams.
🎧 On today's 5 Things podcast, hear the latest on protests around the country after the death of Tyre Nichols. You can listen to the podcast every day on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or on your smart speaker.
🌤 What's the weather today? Check your local forecast here.
Lawmakers on intelligence committees demand right to review classified documents
Leaders of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees shared bipartisan outrage Sunday after a series of discoveries of classified documents in the private residences of former executive branch officials, with the latest found in former Vice President Mike Pence’s Indiana home. The Department of Justice, which has appointed two separate special counsels related to the classified documents found in President Joe Biden’s private home and former private office and former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence, is so far withholding the documents from Congress. That decision has yielded a moment of bipartisan anger from leading Democrats and Republicans alike. Read more
House Speaker McCarthy to meet President Biden on Wednesday to discuss debt ceiling, spending cuts.
Swalwell on House committee assignments: Speaker McCarthy engaged in ''weaponizing'' of ''political abuse.''
Bitter cold, waves of storms target nation's midsection
At least three storms will be responsible for the threat of ice and snow from Sunday through Thursday, AccuWeather reported. The storms will be fueled by moisture coming off the Gulf of Mexico and colder air sweeping south. In some areas, the precipitation will be almost constant for days, AccuWeather said, while in others, it will be ridiculously cold. One major concern is for a glaze of ice that could cause dangerous travel conditions from eastern Oklahoma into northwestern Arkansas and southern Missouri, experts say. Read more
Just for subscribers:
⛰ ''It's just like: Where are you?'': Jeff Stambaugh simply vanished in the Arizona mountains.
🚨 Arizona's election ''audit'' is full of ineptitude, infighting and deceit, messages show.
🚗 Ford CEO says automaker needs ''totally different talent'' to meet goals.
🛍 Kohl's Corp. enters 2023 with an ''identity crisis'' after a rough 2022. What's next for the retailer?
These articles are for USA TODAY subscribers. You can sign up here.
Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles are going to Super Bowl 57 in Arizona
The matchup for Super Bowl 57 is set. The Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs won their respective games during Sunday's conference championship round and will meet Feb. 12 in the battle for the Lombardi Trophy. The Eagles will serve as the home team in the game, which will be played in State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Highlighting the matchup will be a pair of young passers in Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs and Jalen Hurts of the Eagles. Read more
Chiefs' Travis Kelce fires back at Cincinnati mayor with one of The Rock's famous catchphrases
One more thing
🟣 Utah is the first state in 2023 to ban gender-affirming care for transgender minors.
💵 ''It makes you feel bad'': People are getting sick of being asked for tips.
🤖 ''This shouldn’t be a surprise'': The education community shares mixed reactions to ChatGPT.
💦 ''Avatar: The Way of Water'' claimed the No. 1 spot on the domestic box-office charts for a seventh weekend in a row.
🌊 Here's why the waves in San Diego are pink, and what we can learn from it.
Nicole Fallert is a newsletter writer at USA TODAY, sign up for the email here. Want to send Nicole a note? Shoot her an email at NFallert@usatoday.com or follow along with her musings on Twitter. Support journalism like this – subscribe to USA TODAY here.
Associated Press contributed reporting.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Tyre Nichols, Monterey Park, classified documents, Chiefs, Eagles: Daily Briefing