MEMPHIS, TN. — The family of Tyre Nichols, who died after a brutal beating by five Memphis police officers, has sued the involved police officers and the city of Memphis according to reports. The lawsuit blames them for his death and alleges that officials allowed a special unit’s aggressive tactics to go unchecked despite warning signs.
The lawsuit accuses Memphis Police Director Cerelyn “CJ” Davis of starting a crime-suppression unit called Scorpion to target repeat violent offenders in high-crime areas. The lawsuit claims the Scorpion unit used “extreme intimidation, humiliation, and violence” and “disproportionately focused on and targeted young Black men,” adding that this is why Nichols was targeted. It says that the department permitted this aggressive approach to develop and ignored complaints by other residents targeted by the unit before Nichols’ death.
The lawsuit seeks a jury trial and financial damages. The five officers charged with beating Nichols were members of the unit, police have said. The unit was disbanded after the Nichols beating.
Nichols died three days after the brutal beating.
The officers accused in Nichols’ death are Black and have been charged with second-degree murder.