Massive Riot in Memphis, Tennessee
A massive riot broke out on the streets of Memphis, Tennesse after U.S. Marshalls were forced to shoot and kill 20-year-old Brandon Webber. It was a face-off between an angry crowd and Armed officers in a working-class neighborhood.
Twenty-five officers walked away with minor injuries as the crowds threw bricks and rocks at them Wednesday night. Several blocks were cut off when the officers resorted to tear gas by 11 p.m., and three people were arrested after the crowd broke up.
It was reported by the Tennesse Bureau of Investigation that the Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force from the United States Marshalls Service had no other option but to use lethal force when confronting Brandon Webber. Multiple officers from the Marshalls Service were on the hunt for Webber who had multiple warrants.
When the officers arrived at his residence, Webber was trying to escape in his vehicle.
Thursday morning The Tennesse Bureau of Investigation put out a news release stating, “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 investigation into the shooting remains active and ongoing.”
Webber’s body was not identified until Thursday morning when the Shelby County Commissioner Tami Sawyer released the news in a tweet. Pamela Moses, who is a candidate for mayor and a local activist, confirmed Brandon Webber was dead. Many in the neighborhood knew who he was.
Tensions began flaring as the news spread within minutes what had happened. The crowds became angry and formed a standoff between the people in the neighborhood and the officers at the scene of the shooting. The officers took out the batons and shields as they waited.
Helicopters were called in to hover over the scene when several gunshots went off. That is when the crowds moved in toward the officers and began shouting and throwing rocks and bricks at the patrol cars coming through and at the officers.
As the rainfall started to come over the city, the crowds slowly broke up, and many officers were being treated by the paramedics. The Mayor of Memphis, Jim Strickland, posted on Facebook 24 officers and two journalists were injured in the riot. The vandalism ranged from police cars, a local fire station had windows broken, and a wall from a local business was knocked down.
Added to the post from the Mayor was his thoughts on the matter, “As I monitored tonight’s fatal shooting involving the US Marshal’s, I was proud of our first responders. I’m impressed by 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.”
A community activist, Hunter Demster, showed up in the area around 8:40 pm on Wednesday night. He described the scene as the police laughing and taunting the crowd.
He stated, “Every time I turned around, I saw another person with tears in their eyes, furious at another life lost. Frustration, sadness, anger that this is happening again. We have to address public safety in a completely different way. The system is broken, and people are dying because of it.”
The NAACP stepped in and gave their thoughts on the events which took place Wednesday night and posted on Twitter, “We are closely monitoring the reports of riots in the North Memphis, TN community of #Frayser following a law-enforcement involved shooting.”
Philip Jackson of USA Today posted on Twitter as the events at the scene unfolded.
The first post came at 8:33 pm EST, “A crowd and police cars on Kingsley Ave. and Overton crossing street. TBI says this was an officer-involved shooting with US Marshals.”
The second post came at 10:20 pm after everything had slowed down for the police officers, “Officers blocked off the area where there was once a standoff. Most of the crowd has dispersed as rainfall came.”
It is unknown at this time the names of the two journalists who were injured, but this makes for an unfortunate situation for both sides.
Many situations do get exaggerated and overexploited.
Many would say because he was a black man who was killed by police, it was a racial call.
It does not matter the color of Mr. Webber, if he had turned himself in peacefully, none of this would have happened, and the crowd should have left the police alone.