Police officials in a Memphis Tennessee suburb are on high alert after the city erupted in violence when a crowd of people took to the streets on Wednesday to protest the police-involving shooting and killing of a youth identified by family members as Brandon Webber.
Protestors in the Frayser community are outraged and stormed the streets, throwing rocks and bricks at US Marshals, after Webber was killed outside of the home, Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings explained, according to Business Insider.
Shelby County Commissioner Tami Sawyer confirmed that Webber was shot upwards of 20 times as police attempted to serve several warrants.
“I was in Frayser tonight because Brandon Webber was shot 16-20 times in his family’s front yard on the same day as the Pulse nightclub shooting anniversary and on the same day that the DA chose not to charge another police officer for murdering a civilian.” Sawyer tweeted.
I was in Frayser tonight because Brandon Webber was shot 16-20 times in his family’s front yard on the same day as the Pulse nightclub shooting anniversary and on the same day that the DA chose not to charge another police officer for murdering a civilian.
— Tami Sawyer (@tamisawyer) June 13, 2019
According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), Webber allegedly rammed his car into US Marshals vehicle as they tried to serve warrants. They then reportedly shot him.
“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,” the TBI said.
In the aftermath of the riots, some 24 police officers were hurt, and two were severely injured and had to be taken to a local hospital, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland wrote on Facebook.
Some people were tear gassed, Rallings said, as cops tried to get a handle on the disruption. According to reports, police cars and a nearby fire station were vandalized.
“The MPD has been very supportive of protests, but we will not allow any acts of violence, we will not allow destruction of property, we will not allow acts of vandalism to occur,” he said.
A Frayser resident, Gregory Peck, who was there, said: “Too many of our young black brothers are getting killed and as of right now nobody can’t tell us nothing,” he told The Associated Press.
UPDATE: Police are in riot gear saying “hold your line” as residents in Frayser continue to throw rocks as officers. pic.twitter.com/B6TY69onT2
— Rebecca Butcher (@Local24Rebecca) June 13, 2019