Protests broke out in Memphis Wednesday after law enforcement officers fatally shot a 20-year-old man named Brandon Webber.
Webber was killed by officers with the US Marshals Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force. According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), officers claim he “rammed his vehicle into the officers’ vehicles multiple times before exiting with a weapon”.
The bureau also stated, “The officers fired[,] striking and killing the individual. No officers were injured.”
District Attorney General Amy Weirich said Brandon had been wanted on “multiple warrants, including violent felony offenses,” for an incident that occurred on June 3.
Weirich also said the D.A.’s office would review the incident “to determine whether any criminal laws were violated by officers involved in the shooting.”
Family members told the Daily Memphian that Brandon had been shot up to 20 times.
According to a statement Brandon’s father gave to Reuters, he was a father of two who had plans to attend college.
Another man who says he is Brandon’s cousin, tweeted a video saying he was shot, left for dead and police “didn’t get him in the ambulance just left him in the grass.”
Keli McAlister, a spokeswoman for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, said in a news conference early Thursday that it was “unclear” how many marshals had fired at Webber, according to The Washington Post.
A person named Ronni Williams who also claims to be Webber’s cousin took to Twitter to defend him as an “honor student” who should not be labeled as a “drug dealer.”
You can NOT label this young man as a drug dealer he was a honor student, who attended the University of Memphis, strived for greatness even though the odds were against him even more as he grew up. He was changing becoming a better man everyday by his family #justiceforBrandon pic.twitter.com/D6HP4jyPO4— Ronni Williams (@ronni_2k) June 13, 2019
Shortly after the shooting the Frayser neighborhood in Memphis erupted with protests that would leave at least 24 police officers injured. The Memphis Police Department reported that several officers received “minor injuries” as a result of protesters who threw bricks and rocks at them. Police responded with tear gas.
According to a Facebook post from Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland six of the 24 officers injured had been taken to the hospital. Two journalist were also injured.
The mayor said he was “proud of our first responders” for their “professionalism and incredible restraint as they endured concrete rocks being thrown at them and people spitting at them.”
“Let me be clear — the aggression shown towards our officers and deputies tonight was unwarranted,” Strickland said.
Tami Sawyer, the Shelby County commissioner and a candidate for mayor of Memphis, expressed her support for the protestors in a tweet, saying “people are hurting.”
Don’t judge Frayser without asking a community how it feels to mourn their youth over and over again. What do people do with their pain and trauma when it gets to be too much, when a city has ignored them, when their loss is too great and they can no longer yell at the sky?— Tami Sawyer (@tamisawyer) June 13, 2019
Sawyer also cautioned the NAACP for referring to the unrest as “riots,” calling it racially coded language that “distracts and distances people from the depth of what’s occurring.”
“Riot” distracts and distances people from the depth of what’s occurring. And allows them to turn their backs on the community expressing hurt.— Tami Sawyer (@tamisawyer) June 13, 2019
I’m done for the night before my team tries to disable my account but these things must be said.
We will continue to update this article as additional information is uncovered.