Memphis police disband unit involved in Tire Nichols . death
The Memphis Police Department has disbanded a special police unit in connection with the death of Tire Nichols, a 29-year-old black man who was stopped for a traffic violation earlier this month and arrested by five officers. beat to death.
Decided next Saturday release Heartbreaking video footage showing officers punching, kicking and batoning Nichols in scenes has sparked a new debate about police brutality, racism and the need for reform.
Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis said she listened to Nichols’ family, community leaders and members of the so-called Scorpion police unit – from which the five officers responsible for Nichols’ death have since died. implemented – and deactivate it “in the best interest of all”. “.
The Street Crime Operations Unit to Restore Peace in Our Neighborhood was established in Memphis in 2021 to target violent offenders in areas with high crime rates.
“While the atrocities of some have cast a cloud of shame on the Scorpion title, it is imperative that we, the Memphis Police Department, take proactive steps in this regard,” Davis said. healing process,” Davis said.
She said the department will take every possible measure to rebuild trust that has been negatively impacted by Nichols’ death.
Nichols, the father of a 4-year-old son, died three days after being hospitalized following a beating by five police officers, who were also black. The officers were subsequently fired from their jobs and on Thursday indicted by a grand jury on second-degree murder, among other charges.
The video released on Friday night shows in graphic detail the police stop of traffic that turned into a brutal beating that left Nichols hospitalized and then his death.
Nichols was recorded telling officers “I did nothing” as he was dragged out of his car. After being pushed to the ground – where he was found to comply with officers’ orders – Nichols is said to have fled.
Another video taken minutes later shows two police officers holding Nichols from behind while a third punches him in the face several times before the fourth hits him with a baton. Nichols was heard repeatedly shouting “mom”.
The release of the footage raised concerns among authorities that there could be a recurrence of nationwide riots and violent protests against police brutality in the wake of the killing of George Floyd in California. Minneapolis in 2020.
Floyd, a black man, died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for more than nine minutes, an incident also captured on video.
But protests held in several US cities on Friday were mostly peaceful, with only a handful of arrests and a handful of minor incidents reported by authorities.
This followed a public call by Nichols’ parents for “peaceful protests”.
“We want peace. We don’t want any kind of uproar,” said Rodney Wells, Nichols’ stepfather, who was escorted by civil rights leaders at a news conference.
Wells said the family is satisfied with the legal process so far.