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Memphis Police permanently disbands SCORPION unit in wake of Tyre Nichols' death

Memphis Police announced the deactivation Saturday, saying the officers assigned to the unit agreed with the move.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Police announced Saturday they are permanently disbanding the SCORPION unit, which the five MPD officers charged with Tyre Nichols' death were assigned to.

MPD said Chief C.J. Davis met with officers assigned to the SCORPION unit, and they agreed "unreservedly" with disbanding the unit, and said more needed to be done to help heal the community.

Nichols died three days after the Jan. 7 encounter with officers from the SCORPION unit. 

Five officers have been charged with second degree murder, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault, official misconduct, and official oppression in his death.

Here's the full statement from Memphis Police:

Protesters, city officials and the family of Tyre Nichols had been calling for the permanent disbandment of the unit.

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland confirmed Friday the unit was "inactivated" during MPD's independent investigation.

Attorneys Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci, representing the family of Tyre Nichols and at the forefront of demanding the disbandment of the unit, responded to the announcement:

“The Nichols family and their legal team find the decision to permanently disband this unit to be both appropriate and proportional to the tragic death of Tyre Nichols, and also a decent and just decision for all citizens of Memphis. 

We hope that other cities take similar action with their saturation police units in the near future to begin to create greater trust in their communities. 

We must keep in mind that this is just the next step on this journey for justice and accountability, as clearly this misconduct is not restricted to these specialty units. It extends so much further.”

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