Memphis Protests Erupt After Brandon Webber Shooting
Outrage erupted in Memphis, Tennessee last night over the shooting of a black man.
Brandon Webber, 20, was gunned by down by US Marshalls Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force Wednesday after The Tennessee Burea of Investigation said he “rammed his vehicle into the officers’ vehicles multiple times before exiting with a weapon.”
The 20-year-old father was reportedly wanted by authorities on multiple unspecified warrants.
“Preliminary information indicates that at approximately 7 p.m., multiple officers with the United States Marshals Service – Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force encountered a male, wanted on multiple warrants, outside of a home in the 2700 block of Durham Street as he was getting into a vehicle. While attempting to stop the individual, he reportedly rammed his vehicle into the officers’ vehicles multiple times before exiting with a weapon. The officers fired striking and killing the individual. No officers were injured.”
Despite his alleged warrants, Webber’s family is wondering why so much brute force was used. They tell local publications that he was shot between 16-20 times by authorities. There are also reports that his body was left out in the street drawing comparisons to Michael Brown whose lifeless body laid in the street for hours.
After news broke about Webber’s death, a crowd gathered around the scene in Memphis’ Frayser neighborhood and police brought out batons and shields before dispersing tear gas.
Memphis’ Mayor Jim Strickland said at least 24 law enforcement officers were injured and added that windows and police cars were damaged. He also praised the police for their response to the “riots” which sound more like a community in mourning and upset that Webber’s death marks the 22nd Tennessean shot by police this year.
Community leaders like Tami Sawyer, Shelby County Commissioner and a candidate for mayor of Memphis, asked for a thorough investigation into the shooting and asked onlookers to be considerate of protestors’ feelings.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Brandon Webber’s family and the people of Memphis.