The so-called Scorpion unit of the Memphis Police Department was abolished on Saturday due to a "cloud of disgrace" raised by recently released footage showing some of the unit's members fatally assaulting Tyre Nichols after stopping the Black driver.
Similar units are found in police agencies across the country, including those in New York City.
Since some of the NYPD's practices, like targeting people of color and employing excessive force, were found to be unconstitutional, critics have railed against the department's anti-crime squads and plainclothes teams for years.
In 2014, Eric Garner was killed by a plainclothes police officer. New York City's regulations have changed since then. Even if there have been reforms, according to Emerald Garner, the daughter of Eric Garner, they haven't been sufficient.
New NYPD Guidelines And Training
Garner has actively participated in police reform. She indicated the demolition of the Memphis Scorpion unit.
In 2020, New York City disbanded its plainclothes anti-crime units, but Mayor Eric Adams reinstated them in a new configuration last year. They introduced some fresh training and guidelines.
They drive unmarked cars despite wearing uniforms. Their primary goal is to remove gangs and guns from the streets. The specialty units are required as a tool in the fight against crime, according to Dr. Keith Taylor, a retired NYPD sergeant and adjunct lecturer at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He believes that they require stronger oversight.
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