Mayor: Violence against police unwarranted, unacceptable

Mayor: Violence against police unwarranted, unacceptable

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland called the violent protests following a U.S. Marshal-involved shooting in Memphis Wednesday night “unacceptable” and “unwarranted.”

U.S. marshals shot and killed 20-year-old Brandon Webber around 7 p.m. Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has been called in to investigate.

Webber reportedly had multiple warrants. According to TBI, officers saw him getting into a vehicle. When they tried to stop him, he rammed his vehicle into officers’ vehicles multiple times.

TBI said Webber got out with a weapon before officers shot and killed him.

The shooting caused unrest in the Frayser community.

According to Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings, a crowd of people gathered after the shooting in protest, and some became unruly and began to throw rocks and bricks. Police say 36 officers and Shelby County deputies were injured in the chaos.

Eventually, police used tear gas to disperse the crowd, something Strickland said was the right decision.

Strickland said Rallings made the decision to disperse the crowd because of civilians throwing “hundreds” of rocks and bricks at officers. There was also an issue with getting TBI to the scene to investigate. Their detectives didn’t feel comfortable getting to the scene until about 2 a.m.

Strickland talked about the issues between the community and police that need to be fixed.

“We need to have serious discussions in this country between law enforcement and the community--but violence isn’t a discussion," Strickland said.

He said communication is key, and both sides need to listen to each other and work with each other.

Strickland praised Frayser as a community that has been successful at dealing with major issues.

“Frayser is a great example of a community that’s come together to address issues,” he said.

Strickland said he is proud of his officers for showing restraint and courage to not retaliate against the unruly crowd.

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