At least 24 officers injured after police shooting

Police protect themselves from thrown objectsImage copyright
The Daily Memphian

Image caption

Police used shields to protect themselves from thrown objects

At least 24 police officers in Memphis, Tennessee, were injured in a clash with protesters following the fatal shooting of a young black man.

The police standoff, which began on Wednesday night, occurred when US Marshals Service agents attempted to arrest an unidentified wanted man.

The man allegedly tried to ram his car into officers before emerging with a weapon, police say, and was then shot.

Images from the scene showed officers using shields to deflect projectiles.

What sparked the protest?

According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, which has launched a probe of the police killing, the incident began around 19:00 local time when agents from the US Marshal Service’s Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force attempted to arrest the man as he was entering a vehicle in the city’s Frayser area.

The man, who has not been identified by law enforcement, has been named by family and local politicians as 21-year-old Brandon Webber.

Image copyright
The Daily Memphian

Image caption

A man identified as the victim’s father is consoled at the scene of the standoff

His cousin, Demetrick Skinner, told the Daily Memphian that marshals fired as many as 20 shots at him.

Memphis police, who say they were not involved in the shooting, were called to assist investigators as a crowd grew around the scene.

How did the violence unfold?

A crowd grew after the shooting, and continued to escalate until 22:00 local time when it began to rain and police used tear gas and loud speakers to disperse protesters.

People threw bricks, tree limbs and rocks at officers, who donned protective gear, and damaged cars in the area.

Mayor Jim Strickland said in a statement on Facebook that a “concrete wall outside a business was torn down” and windows were broken at a fire station.

He applauded police for their “incredible restraint as they endured concrete rocks being thrown at them and people spitting at them”, adding that “the aggression shown towards our officers and deputies tonight was unwarranted”.

Image copyright

Image caption

Video showed one shirtless man spitting towards officers

Around 25 officers were hurt, with most suffering only light injuries. Six were taken to hospital. Two journalists were also injured in the chaos and three people were arrested.

“What I need now is for everyone to stay calm,” Police Director Michael Rallings said during a news conference early Thursday morning.

“If your home or car was vandalised during these acts, you need to call police. If you witnessed acts of violence or vandalism you need to call police.”

Shelby County Commissioner Tami Sawyer, who was at the scene, estimated the crowd size to be nearly 300 people.

“Don’t judge Frayser without asking a community how it feels to mourn their youth over and over again,” she wrote on Twitter.

“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?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.