Memphis PD Disbands Unit After Tyre Nichols Murder as Obamas Slam Cops for the ‘Unjustified’ Assault

Adrian Sainz/AP/Shutterstock
Adrian Sainz/AP/Shutterstock

The Memphis Police Department has deactivated the SCORPION unit following the release of brutal body-camera footage that showed the horrific beating of Nichols at the hands of Memphis cops.

“In the process of listening intently to the family of Tyre Nichols, community leaders, and the uninvolved who have done quality work in their assignments, it is in the best interest of all to permanently deactivate the SCORPION unit,” the department announced in a statement Saturday after discussing “the path forward” with Chief Cerelyn Davis.

Earlier in the day, Barack and Michelle Obama called out the “vicious, unjustified” murder of Tyre Nichols after brutal body-camera footage showed the horrific beating of Nichols at the hands of Memphis cops.

“The vicious, unjustified beating of Tyre Nichols and his ultimate death at the hands of five Memphis police officers is just the latest, painful reminder of how far America still has to go in fixing how we police our streets,” the couple said in a dual Twitter statement Saturday.

Five Memphis police officers have been fired and charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression following the assault of Nichols.

Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr., and Justin Smith, were arrested on Thursday.

The cops were all in the Street Crimes Operation to Restore Peace in Our Neighborhoods (SCORPION) unit, which was formed in late 2021 to add a larger police presence in “high-crime” neighborhoods.

Civil rights activist Al Sharpton said the cops—who were all Black— “disgrace our race” at a rally in Harlem Saturday as groups across the nation protest against police brutality.

Sharpton said violence on Black people by cops has hit a “critical point” as he advocated for federal policing laws.“I want to say loud and clear that we will fight Black cops, white cops, any color cops that commit crimes against us,” Sharpton said.

Cops Kept Beating Tyre Nichols as He Screamed for His Mother

Sharpton went on to say the cops wouldn’t have assaulted a white man the way they assaulted Nichols, who was not only beaten, but pepper-sprayed and tasered, according to the footage.

“You know you couldn’t get away with doing that in Tennessee to a white guy. You’ll find out you ain’t getting away with it doing it to a Black guy,” he added.

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