The American Tradition Of Police Violence: Tyre Nichols, The Scorpion Unit And Deputy Gangs

Tyre Nichols was beaten to death by five policemen after being stopped illegally for an alleged traffic violation, in what looks like a targeted, personal attack.

In this episode we’re talking about some aspects of the Tyree Nichols’ murder that are being discussed less, Memphis and LA deputy gangs, some crazy details of the actual murder that shocked us the most, things like implicit bias and how racism can happen against people of your own race. If you like our content please become a patron and get all of our episodes ad-free. 1

We also discuss the EMTs who didn’t do their jobs properly, the aggravated kidnapping charges, the now disbanded Scorpion Unit, the history of Slave Patrols and why racism is central to policing in America, and many other insane things that make this case so different from other police killings. 2, 3

Nichols was supposedly stopped for reckless driving, but Memphis Police Chief C.J. Davis said early Friday morning an investigation and review of available camera footage had found "no proof" of that. All five ex-officers who beat Tyree Nichols to death were charged with second-degree murder, two counts of official misconduct, one count of official oppression, one count of aggravated assault, and two counts of aggravated kidnapping.

The officers involved — Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith — were fired, Davis said, after they violated department policies during the January 7 stop that led to Nichols' death. They are now out on bail awaiting trial.

1. Theodore R. Johnson. Black-on-Black Racism: The Hazards of Implicit Bias. The Atlantic. December 2014. 

2. Dr. Gary Potter. The History of Policing in the United States, Part 1. Eastern Kentucky University. June 2013. 

3. Lynching In America: Confronting The Legacy Of Racial Terror. Equal Justice Initiative. 3rd ed 2017 

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