United States: the family of Tire Nichols calls for the dismantling of the Scorpion unit

The parents of Tyre Nichols attend a vigil in Memphis, Tennessee, January 26, 2023. AP - Patrick Lantrip

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Three days after the indictment of the 5 police officers involved in the beating and death of Tire Nichols, calls are increasing for the dismantling of the Scorpion special unit, the unit to which the indicted officers belonged.

A group recently created to fight crime in Memphis.


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With our correspondent in New York,

Loubna Anaki

We demand the immediate dismantling of the Scorpion unit


For the Nichols family, the tragic death of their son Tire is proof that there is a real problem with the Memphis police special unit called Scorpion.

Lawyer Ben Crump goes so far as to call this unit a criminal and repression group.

This tragedy was predictable.

We believe there was a tendency towards violence and Tire died because this practice went unchecked!


The police officers charged with the murder of the young African-American are almost all part of this Scoprion unit, which was created in 2021 after an increase in crime in Memphis. 

To read also: United States: the video of the mortal beating of Tire Nichols made public

Last year, the city praised their efficiency.

Today, the chief of police wants an internal investigation.

Believe it or not, last year these police officers had very good results.

But what just happened is proof that there is a flaw in this unity.


For the moment, the authorities have not mentioned a possible dismantling of this force, even if the calls in this direction are increasing, especially among the demonstrators.


To read also: Five police officers charged with murder after the “appalling” arrest of an African-American

Instrumentalization by curators

The video broadcast Friday evening where we see the 5 police officers beating up Tire Nichols is unbearable and upsets America.

This surge of violence is the work of 5 black police officers, after a banal traffic check, on January 7 in Memphis.

Reverend Al Sharpton, a famous civil rights figure who will deliver the funeral oration for Tire Nichols, said the fact that the officers were black made

 the event "even more shocking 


But this drama is exploited by certain representatives of American conservative circles who point out that if the police officers like the victim are black, it is therefore not racism that underlies police violence against the American black community.

A trap that must be avoided, according to Charlotte Recoquillon, associate researcher at the French Institute of Geopolitics and journalist specializing in the United States.

This will be instrumentalized by the right and the conservatives to say "look, like what it is not a question of racism since even blacks commit violence", but it is precisely very misunderstanding the principle and the mechanism of racism , and the internalization of racist prejudices.

Charlotte Recoquillon, associate researcher at the French Institute of Geopolitics and journalist specializing in the United States

Sylvie Noel


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