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Tyre Nichols passed away following a severe beating by five Memphis police officers. Representation image. Getty Images | Christopher Furlong

Tyre Nichols' family sued Memphis police officers and the city of Memphis on Wednesday, Apr. 19, blaming them for his death and accusing officials of ignoring warning signs about a special unit's aggressive tactics.

Tyre Nichols passed away following a severe beating by five Memphis police officers.

The lawsuit holds Memphis Police Director Cerelyn "CJ" Davis accountable for creating the Scorpion crime suppression team to go after repeating violent offenders in high-crime areas.

The lawsuit asserts that the Scorpion squad "disproportionately focused on and targeted young Black men" and utilized "extreme intimidation, humiliation, and violence," adding that this is why Nichols was targeted.

A jury trial and financial damages are sought in the lawsuit, which was brought by RowVaughn Wells, the mother of Tyre Nichols. According to the police, the unit included the five officers accused of beating Nichols. The unit was disbanded after the Nichols beating, NBC News reported.

The city of Memphis declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Three days after the vicious beating in January, Nichols passed away. It was the most recent in a succession of violent incidents involving Black people and police.

The police have typically been white, but all five of the policemen charged in Nichols' death are Black. Second-degree murder charges have been brought against the cops.

The city of Memphis, Police Director Davis, the five officers who have been terminated and charged, another officer who has been terminated but not charged, and an additional officer who retired before he could be terminated are all named defendants in the lawsuit.

Additionally, it lists three Memphis Fire Department employees who were dismissed when it was claimed that they neglected to assist Nichols as he lay on the ground writhing in pain from his wounds.

Officers stopped Nichols while he was driving his car for reasons that have "never been substantiated," the lawsuit said.

Nichols said, "What did I do?" during the encounter and ran away from officers after he was pulled out of his car "to attempt to save his life and defend himself," the lawsuit said.

In connection with Nichols' killing, Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Desmond Mills Jr., Emmitt Martin III, and Justin Smith are charged with second-degree murder. They have entered a not-guilty plea.

Martin, Haley, and now-fired officer Preston Hemphill claimed Nichols was driving recklessly before they stopped him as he was heading home from a park on the evening of Jan. 7.

They pepper-sprayed Nichols while pinning him to the ground, threatening to break his arm, and firing a shock gun at him while they pulled him out of his car.

According to police documents, Hemphill used his stun gun when Nichols was able to escape.

A little while later, Mills, Bean, and Smith caught Nichols. Joined by Haley and Martin, the five officers punched, kicked, and pepper-sprayed Nichols and beat him with a baton, according to police records.

In the lawsuit, Davis and other police supervisors are accused of inciting officers to conduct unauthorized searches and seizures.

Additionally, it charges the Memphis Police Department with decreasing requirements for becoming an officer and making it simpler to pass the police school.

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