Cerelyn 'CJ' Davis Memphis police tyre nichols
© Associated Press
Cerelyn 'CJ' Davis, the current chief of police in Memphis, was previously terminated from her position in the Atlanta Police Department in 2008
The Memphis police chief who is now tasked with investigating the killing of Tyre Nichols was previously fired from her job for dismissing allegations in a child pornography case.

Cerelyn 'CJ' Davis was kicked out of the Atlanta Police Department in 2008 for her role in the botched investigation of sergeant Tonya Crane's husband Terrill Marion Crane - who later turned out to be guilty.

Two detectives on the case accused Davis - who was deputy chief at the time - of urging them not to dig into the claims against Crane after the unit received pictures of him with underage middle school girls.

Crane later pled guilty to one count of producing child pornography after the FBI took on the case - and blame then shifted on to Davis for taking a 'blind eye' on the child porn claims.

Despite her history as a careless investigator, Davis still became the first black female chief in Memphis in 2021 - one year after George Floyd was killed at the hands of Minneapolis police.
police murder tyre nichols suspects
© Memphis Police Department
From left, Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills, Jr. and Justin Smith. The five former Memphis police officers have been charged with second-degree murder and other crimes in the arrest and death of Tyre Nichols
Crane was indicted by a federal grand jury on the child pornography charges after Atlanta Police Department failed to take action on the case - and in 2009 he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 years and one month in jail.

The FBI blasted Atlanta's police force as 'unforgiveable' at the time for allowing the child abuse - which involved at least 11 girls, some as young as middle school age - to go 'unchecked.'

Attorney David E. Nahmias said: 'This case goes back a number of years, which makes the list of victims longer and the facts of the case even more disturbing.

'This defendant sexually exploited numerous young girls and that unforgivable criminal conduct went unchecked for years even after being brought to the attention of the Atlanta Police Department.'

Crane's wife, who was a sergeant working with Davis, also admitted to 'finding and burning' some of the child porn photographs her husband had taken of the victims. A follow-up investigation by the city then placed the blame squarely on Davis. She was demoted from major to lieutenant before ultimately being fired from the force in Atlanta. She then challenged the decision before the city's Civil Service Board, who reinstated her. But in 2016 she decided to retire herself from the Atlanta force.

Davis then took up a role as police chief in Durham, North Carolina - and had called for sweeping police reform, despite her previous botched job in Atlanta.

She has now once again come under scrutiny following the actions of the five officers involved in the death of Nichols.

Protests have erupted across the US for a second night after brutal footage of the death of Nichols was released by Memphis police.

Protesters vandalized businesses in Los Angeles while others remained mostly peaceful in New York City, Washington DC, Memphis and other cities. Cities across the US saw renewed nonviolent demonstrations on Saturday. In Memphis, protesters chanting, 'Whose streets? Our streets!' angrily catcalled a police car that was monitoring the march, with several making obscene gestures.
tyre nichols washington square nyc protest
© Ron Adar/M10s/MEGA
Protestors gathered at Washington Square Park in New York for a second night in a row of protest in the name of Tyre Nichols
Hundreds gathered in New York City's Washington Square Park before marching through Manhattan, as columns of police officers walked alongside them.

In Los Angeles, a small group of Antifa were seen smashing up businesses in what was a second night of rioting following the release of the Nichols police video.

Protesters in downtown Atlanta repeated Nichols' name and demanded justice. Around 40 people gathered in front of Philadelphia's City Hall to protest the killing.
antifa los angeles protest tyre nichols
© radicalized by reality/Twitter
Vandals with Antifa in Los Angeles spray painted insulting message towards police officers
More than 80 people marched in Charlotte, North Carolina on Saturday afternoon to protest the fatal beating.

'How many more are going to die?' Tim Emry asked fellow demonstrators who'd gathered outside the Mecklenburg County Courthouse.

'Do we stand up when Black kills Black?' asked Melissa Funderburk, a longtime community organizer in Charlotte said to the Charlotte Observer.

'It doesn't matter that it was Black skin in the blue. The point is a mother is crying. It's not OK for them to be killing Black men and women.'

On Saturday, Davis disbanded the city's so-called Scorpion unit citing a 'cloud of dishonor' from videos that showed some of its officers beating Tyre Nichols to death after stopping the black motorist. Davis acted a day after the harrowing video emerged, saying she listened to Nichols' relatives, community leaders and uninvolved officers in making the decision.

Her announcement came as the nation and the city struggled to come to grips with the violence of the officers, who are also black.

Scorpion stands for Street Crimes Operations to Restore Peace In Our Neighborhoods.

The video renewed doubts about why fatal encounters with law enforcement keep happening despite repeated calls for change.

Protestors marching though downtown Memphis cheered when they heard the unit had been dissolved. One protestor said over a bullhorn that 'the unit that killed Tyre has been permanently disbanded.'

Referring to 'the heinous actions of a few' that dishonored the unit, Davis contradicted an earlier statement that she would keep the unit. She said it was imperative that the department 'take proactive steps in the healing process.'

'It is in the best interest of all to permanently deactivate the Scorpion unit,' she said in a statement. She said the officers currently assigned to it agreed 'unreservedly.'

The unit is composed of three teams of about 30 officers whose stated aim is to target violent offenders in areas beset by high crime.

It had been inactive since Nichols' January 7 arrest.

Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci, lawyers for the Nichols family, said the move was 'a decent and just decision.'

'We must keep in mind that this is just the next step on this journey for justice and accountability, as clearly this misconduct is not restricted to these specialty units. It extends so much further,' they said.

The five disgraced officers - Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Desmond Mills Jr., Emmitt Martin III and Justin Smith - have been fired and charged with murder and other crimes in Nichols´ death, which came three days after the arrest. They face up to 60 years in prison if convicted of second-degree murder.

The videos released Friday show police savagely beating the 29-year-old FedEx worker for three minutes while screaming profanities at him in an assault that the Nichols family legal team has likened to the infamous 1991 police beating of Los Angeles motorist Rodney King. Nichols calls out for his mother before his limp body is propped against a squad car and the officers exchange fist-bumps.

The video also left many unanswered questions about the traffic stop and about other law enforcement officers who stood by as Nichols lay motionless on the pavement.

Cities nationwide had braced for demonstrations after the video emerged, but protests were scattered and nonviolent. Several dozen demonstrators in Memphis blocked the Interstate 55 bridge that carries traffic over the Mississippi River toward Arkansas. Protesters also blocked traffic in New York City, Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon.