A motive for the former Memphis officers charged with Tyre Nichols’ murder remains a mystery, but a famed attorney is denying claims that a personal vendetta drove the brutal beating.
Although the attack was unbelievably senseless, motive matters, especially in court. Stories of jealousy and a love triangle involving the ex of the officer who took and shared pictures of Tyre with multiple people, circulated online. However, Business Insider reports Ben Crump debunked the rumor, placing the blame on the system of police brutality that the now disbanded SCORPION unit perpetuated.
Ben Crump Says Memphis PD And The SCORPION Unit Are Responsible For Tyre Nichols’ Death
Crump addressed the theories at a press conference after Haley, Tadarrius Dean, Justin Smith, Emmitt Martin., and Desmond Mills Jr. pleaded not guilty during their arraignment. On the steps of the Memphis Criminal Justice Complex, the civil rights attorney called the rumor of a personal grudge “bogus.”
“We are aware that there were photographs that were taken,” he said. Crump denied that facts about those pictures prove “rumors that are out there in the social media world.”
“The family is dealing with enough, outside of these rumors.”
While messy personal relationships are hard to prove, the known facts show that these cops were crooked long before they stopped Tyre.
“This SCORPION unit had a pattern and practice of doing this to Black people in Memphis. That’s it. We don’t need to go further than that,” Crump said.
Before Haley even joined Memphis PD, he had a history of accusations of excessive force against prisoners in his custody. Prior to her termination from Atlanta PD in 2008 for corruption, Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis oversaw the city’s Red Dog unit. Like SCORPION, the Red Dog unit created to address spikes in violent street crime became notorious for its own violence and misconduct.
There’s no denying a clear pattern of brutality, corruption, and abuse of power among the SCORPION unit, Memphis PD, and police departments across the country.
Where Did Rumors Of A Personal Motive Come From?
Rumors circulated that Haley, who photographed a savagely beaten Tyre Nichols, did so for personal reasons. A tweet with more than 150K views claimed one of the recipients of Haley’s pictures from the crime scene was his ex-girlfriend.
Follow-up tweets the next day clarified that this was just a rumor and when reporters reached out for proof of this claim, the Twitter user essentially said they heard it through the grapevine.
The account, which is only one year old and has since rebranded for a political campaign, isn’t exactly trustworthy. The Shelby County District Attorney’s office said they would investigate the claim regardless of the source.
Nichols’ family already denied the love triangle, but details about Haley’s behavior still feed that narrative. Last week, Business Insider reported that Haley broke the police procedure before he even approached Nichols.
According to a police decertification record, Haley didn’t explain the probable cause for stopping Nichols or even identify himself as an officer before the confrontation. Haley acted like a stereotypical criminal trying to rob or carjack Nichols.
“You exited your unmarked vehicle stopped in an opposing traffic lane and you forced the driver out of his vehicle while using loud profanity and wearing a black sweatshirt hoodie over your head. You never told the driver the purpose of the vehicle stop or that he was under arrest,” the report said.
There’s more than enough evidence against Memphis PD all the way up the ranks without any additional rumors.
Until the prosecution or Nichols’ family can validate any other information, those theories only serve to take the blame off of those responsible for Nichols’ death.
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