SCORPION, the now-infamous Memphis crime-suppression police division responsible for the fatal beating of Tyre Nichols, did not start their pattern of violence with that traffic stop, said Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy on CNN Monday — and other people are coming forward against the now-disbanded unit with complaints about excessive force and abuse of power.
This comes as a sixth police officer in the SCORPION unit who was on the scene, Preston Hemphill, has been relieved of duty, but not fired, in connection with the attack, as five other officers face murder charges.
“Okay, about that SCORPION unit that has now been disbanded, have you learned of any other victims that have come forward?” asked anchor Alisyn Camerota.
“Well, our office is not, to my knowledge, doing an investigation as to any of that, but I have heard that now since this incident has become public, there have been citizens who have raised complaints that they too had been treated with — you know, roughly or inappropriately by SCORPION. I’m glad to hear that the unit has been disbanded.”
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Furthermore, said Mulroy, police departments around the country “should probably take a serious look at these specialized units.”
“We know from experience that sometimes when you create these special units that are supposed to swarm deploy with, you know, great vigor on crime suppression, if they’re not properly trained, not properly supervised, sometimes that can lead to a culture that encourages excessive force. And I think that’s got to be part of our broader conversation of police reform, here in Memphis and around the country, if any good at all is to come from this tragedy.”
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Steve Mulroy says SCORPION unit has other complaints against it