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Former Memphis Police Officer of SCORPION Unit and Dismissed Officer Charged with Death of Tire Nichols

A former Memphis police officer who knew the people involved in the case. Tyre Nichols assault arrest told CBS News about one of the Five former police officers charged And the so-called SCORPION unit that the five of them belonged to.

He described the ex-cop’s “proactive” approach as someone who thinks he’s not doing his job as a police officer if he’s not actively chasing bad guys.

“I never thought something like this would happen,” the former officer told CBS News. .

He said he knew each of the former officers charged and worked closely with one of them, Demetrius Haley. The five were laid off from their jobs and charged with second-degree murder for brutally beating Nichols after the Jan. 7 traffic stop.

Morale in the Memphis Police Department is currently very low, according to former officers.

“This is not an indication of who the department is,” he said. “We deal with very bad people. There are fights and foot chases, but everyone understands when it’s time to stop.”

Tire Nichols was arrested after Haley and four other police officers (Tadaarius Bean, Emmit Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr., and Justin Smith) stopped him for reckless driving. video from the sceneThe city announced on Friday that Nichols had been badly beaten. He died in hospital three days later.

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director David Rausch said he was “disgusted” and “shocked” by the video footage of the beatings he had seen. This was wrong. This was a crime. ”

Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy joined Rausch at a press conference on Thursday, plead guilty Against five officers who were dismissed.

“We want justice for Tire Nichols,” Mulroy said. “…the world is watching us and we need to show the world the lessons it can learn from this tragedy.”

In an interview with CBS News, a former Memphis police officer described Hailey, 30, as “a young, athletic and confident man.”

However, in Haley’s view, Haley wasn’t proactive enough to track down criminals, which led Haley to butt heads with others in the department.

CBS News has reached out to Haley’s representatives for comment.

Former Shelby County Director of Corrections, Haley was a member of the handpicked SCORPION team formed in 2021 to combat violent street crime.

The name SCORPION stands for Street Crimes Operation to restore peace in the neighborhood. The SCORPION team has over 20 officers assigned to him. They wear black hoodies with “POLICE” written on the front and back, black tactical vests, and drive dark Dodge Chargers with SCORPION decals.

Crime suppression teams patrol in groups and may use legitimate low-level traffic stops as a way to find violent offenders, drugs, or weapons.

To join a SCORPION unit, “most of the time you have to be a go-getter,” the former officer told CBS News. “You have to be someone who wants to make a difference and want to catch the bad guys.”

so breaking news In a statement published Jan. 27, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland did not disclose when the unit was deactivated, but the unit “was and remains inactive.” Strickland also said the city was “initiating an external and independent review of the training, policies and operations of our professional forces.”

Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn “CJ” Davis told CNN Investigators “failed to substantiate” the initial report of reckless driving that prompted Nichols’ arrest. said to

A former Memphis officer who spoke to CBS News said many officers are retiring from the division and younger and less experienced members of the division are being recruited into specialized SCORPION teams. They were poorly trained and poorly managed, he said, and the training consisted of three days of his PowerPoint presentations, one day of criminal investigation instruction, and one day of his being on the shooting range. said it was done.

Memphis Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The officer charged in Nichols’ death was employed from 2017 to 2020. They were from he was 24 to he was 32.

“We need a crime suppression unit. You can’t reduce crime by just coming to school, talking to kids and putting up posters,” said the former police officer.

He emphasized that the department is made up of truly dedicated officers dedicated to helping people and dedicated to their mission.

“They still have to go out and do their jobs every day. They have to fight crime.”

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/tyre-nichols-former-memphis-police-officer-scorpion-unit/ Former Memphis Police Officer of SCORPION Unit and Dismissed Officer Charged with Death of Tire Nichols

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