MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Violence erupted at the scene of a law enforcement-involved shooting in Memphis Wednesday night before the investigation could even begin.
The shooting of 20-year-old Brandon Webber by the Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force prompted a major protest in Frayser that carried on through the night. No Memphis police officers were involved in the shooting, but three dozen officers were injured in the hours that followed while trying to control the crowds.
Before agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation could make the scene, rumors spread there and on social media about who was shot, how many times and why.
Speaking from the scene hours later, Memphis Police Department Director Mike Rallings cautioned the community from jumping to conclusions before the investigation is complete.
“My message tonight is we should all wait and make sure that we know exactly what happened before we spread misinformation or we jump to conclusions," said Rallings. "The Memphis Police Department, we’ve been very supportive of protests. But we will not allow any acts of violence, we will not allow the destruction of property, we will not allow acts of vandalism to occur. Again, I will continue to commend the officers for the enormous restraint they showed tonight.”
Rallings says anyone who was injured, whose property was damaged or witnessed someone committing vandalism during the protest should call police or Crime Stoppers at (901) 528-CASH.