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US: Memphis police dismantle 'Scorpion' unit involved in fatal arrest of Tire Nichols


The young man died in hospital three days after being beaten. The five police officers involved were fired, charged with murder and imprisoned.

Memphis police announced on Saturday the dismantling of the special unit involved in the beating that led to the death in early January of a young African-American.

The video shocked the United States.

On Saturday, police in Memphis, Tennessee (southern United States) said in a statement that "

it is in everyone's interest to permanently dismantle the SCORPION unit


The police officers currently assigned to the unit have given their consent

,” the statement added.

The family of Tyre Nichols welcomed this decision via a statement from his lawyers, deeming it "

both appropriate and proportionate to the tragic death of Tyre Nichols

" but also "

decent and fair for all the citizens of Memphis


Kicks, punches and truncheons

The shocking images of the fatal arrest of Tire Nichols, 29, by five black police officers have aroused horror and incomprehension in the United States, without yet causing the social explosion similar to that of summer 2020 feared by the authorities. .

The video released by the police shows an unbearable beating after a banal traffic stop on January 7 in Memphis.

With their fists, feet and truncheons, the police attacked the young man, sprayed him with tear gas and aimed at him with a Taser electric shock gun.

At no time do we see Tire Nichols retaliate.

He tries to run away, is caught.




“, he shouts in one of the extracts.

Tire Nichols died three days later in a Memphis hospital.

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Rallies ranging from a few dozen to a few hundred people were held Friday night in several cities, including Memphis, New York and Washington.

On Saturday afternoon, several dozen protesters gathered in the rain and cold outside Memphis City Hall, a towering concrete block building.

To the sounds of “

no justice, no peace

” and with signs demanding “

justice for Tire Nichols

,” protesters then marched through the otherwise quiet streets of Memphis.

The five police officers were fired, charged with murder and imprisoned.

Four of them were later released on bail.

On Friday, while saying they were horrified, the family said they were "


" with the charges brought against the five police officers and praised the "


" of the measures taken against them.

"Institutionalized police culture"

It could have been me

” instead of Tire Nichols, reacted after seeing the video Demarcus Carter, a 36-year-old African American living in Memphis, who expected the protests to be larger.

But once a trial has taken place, "

if the verdict is not the right one then the demonstrations will be bigger

", he predicted.

Some questions remain unanswered after the release of the footage of the arrest.

The video, for example, does not show the beginning of the interaction between Tire Nichols and the group.

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This new death after an arrest has reignited the debate on police violence in the country, where the memory of George Floyd, killed in 2020 by a white police officer, remains vivid, with the feeling that the major demonstrations that followed have nothing solved the problem.

Ben Crump, one of Tire Nichols' family attorneys and who had defended George Floyd's family, blamed an "

institutionalized police culture



It doesn't matter if the police officer is black, Hispanic or white (...).

There are unwritten rules that if a person is from a certain ethnic group, then they can be treated with excessive use of force

,” he told MSNBC on Saturday.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-01-29

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