Memphis police release body camera footage, disband elite unit following killing of Tyre Nichols News
© WikiMedia (Thomas R Machnitzki)
Memphis police release body camera footage, disband elite unit following killing of Tyre Nichols

The Memphis Police Department Saturday issued a statement immediately deactivating the SCORPION (Street Crimes Operations to Restore Peace in Our Neighborhoods) unit. All five officers involved in Tyre Nichols death are former members of the SCORPION unit.

On Friday, the department released four separate videos of body cam and pole footage depicting Nichols’ death. All five officers involved have been terminated from their positions and charged with murder. The release of the videos has drawn national attention, with President Joe Biden echoing the wishes of Nichols’ family to keep protests peaceful.

Out of respect for the family of the deceased, JURIST will not link directly to the footage. The author of this article independently reviewed the videos. The first video starts as a traffic stop. The police remove Nichols from his car, shouting contradictory instructions. While he is lying down, officers threaten to tase Nichols if he does not lie down. Eventually, Nichols escapes and the police attempt to tase him. Video two is footage from a light pole. The camera shows four officers and Nichols on the ground. One officer grabs Nichols’ upper body and slams him into the pavement. A second officer joins in. A third kicks Nichols in the head. Nichols is largely non-responsive during the beating. The officers life Nichols up, and one officer begins to punch Nichols in the head.

In video three, an officer chases Nichols. When the officer reaches Nichols, he is already on the ground with two officers on top of him. As officers beat him, Nichols begins to yell for his mother. At the time, Nichols was only three blocks away from his mother’s house. The fourth and final video contains more footage from a body camera. An officer gets out of his car and starts running. The footage shows officers wrestle Nichols to the grounds and slam his head into the ground. The officer’s camera becomes obscured. Eventually, the officer gets up, and the footage shows Nichols on the ground, barely conscious.