DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — The Durham Police Department’s former police chief’s new department is now under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Memphis, Tennessee, Police Chief Cerelyn “CJ” Davis served as Durham’s chief from June 2016 to June 2021. Now, Davis’ department in Memphis is facing a review of its use of force and de-escalation policies after the death of Tyre Nichols.
Nichols died three days after he was beaten by Memphis police officers during a traffic stop on Jan. 7. Body camera footage and surveillance video released by police showed the violent encounter.
DOJ announced their review of the Memphis department saying it came at the request of Davis and Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland.
The review “will cover policies, practices, training, data and processes related to MPD’s use of force, de-escalation and specialized units,” DOJ said. DOJ plans to issue a public report outlining its findings and recommendations when the review is complete.
The DOJ’s Community Oriented Policing Services will undertake the review. COPS will also lead a second review of specialized police units across the country. They will assess the management and oversight of such units, including review of policies, tactics, training, supervision, accountability, and transparency.
Officers accused in Nichols’ death were members of MPD’s special SCORPION unit. SCORPION, or the Street Crimes Operation to Restore Peace in Our Neighborhoods unit, was tasked with dealing with crime suppression, auto theft, gang activity, and reckless driving. The unit has been dismantled since Nichols’ death.