On January 7, 2023, five black police officers brutally killed Tyre Nichols, a black man, during a traffic check. The specialist SCORPION unit under the Memphis Police Department team that was active in the capture of the 29-year-old has come under heavy criticism as the city of Memphis and the rest of the country remain heartbroken over the loss of Nichols.

Also Read: Who is Desmond Mills Jr., former Memphis police officer charged in Tyler Nicholas’ death?

What is the SCORPION Unit?

The Street Crimes Operation to Restore Peace in Our Neighborhoods, or SCORPION unit, was introduced in October 2021 and started functioning a month later. It consists of 40 officers who work in four teams to patrol the city’s high-crime regions. While the program was being introduced, MPD Assistant Chief Sean Jones told the media that the SCORPION unit will concentrate on thefts, gang-related crimes, and drug-related crimes.

Jim Strickland, the mayor of Memphis, praised SCORPION’s efficiency after the unit had been in operation. Strickland said the team was in charge of 566 arrests, 390 of which were felonies, as well as the seizure of 253 guns, 270 vehicles, and $103,000 in cash between October 2021 and January 23rd, 2022. However, supporters of criminal justice reform and some locals have criticized the unit’s personnel for using excessive force.

Also Read: Tyre Nichols parents: All about mother RowVaughn Wells and father Rodney Wells

As of January 27, the Memphis Police Association, the organization that represents the city’s police officers, had not made any comments about the situation. The five cops charged with killing Tyre Nichols have been named as Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Desmond Mills Jr., Emmitt Martin III, and Justin Smith while the unit is still being investigated. For now, the SCORPION Unit remains inactive.

Who was Tyre Nichols?

Tyre Deandre Nichols, an African-American man in his late twenties, was present. When Nichols passed away, he was the father of a 4-year-old son. He was an ambitious photographer who worked for FedEx.

Also Read: Tyre Nichols death video: Fox News host Jesse Watters trolled for drugs reference, “we’ll have to wait for the toxicology report”

According to the video of the event posted on Friday night, Nichols was stopped by members of the SCORPION unit on January 7 and pepper-sprayed, tased, and assaulted at the traffic stop. He succumbed to his wounds three days later.