City officials said a video of the beating would be released to the public after 6 p.m. Friday.
Memphis’ Scorpion unit was created in October 2021 under the police department’s Organized Crime Unit. Made up of 40 officers divided into four 10-member teams, the unit was tasked not only with addressing violent crime, but also with investigating car thefts and gangs. The officers’ “crime suppression” assignments changed depending on where crime was worst.
Memphis set a record for homicides in 2021 for the second year in a row. The police department reported 346 in 2021 — up from 332 the previous year.
Mayor Jim Strickland promoted the new Scorpion unit as part of the solution in his January 2022 State of the City speech. He touted it as part of an anti-crime strategy that also included a gun violence intervention program and more money for the police department. In its first three months, Scorpion made hundreds of arrests and seized hundreds of cars and weapons, Strickland said.