MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - More than three dozen Memphis Police and Shelby County Sheriff’s officers were injured in the rioting that followed the fatal shooting of Brandon Webber Wednesday night.
People were throwing rocks and bricks at them and nearly two dozen law enforcement vehicles were damaged.
Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings says he approved the use of tear gas to disperse the rioters.
"We will not tolerate any acts of violence, looting, any vandalism because we’ll respect individuals rights to protest, but they must do it lawfully,” said Mike Rallings, Memphis Police Department.
The last time MPD used tear gas on citizens was in 1998, during the KKK Rally in Downtown Memphis.
When the counter protestors' anger turned to violence, Memphis Police unleashed the gas.
Fast forward to present-day, Director Rallings is now asking citizens to be patient while the shooting of Brandon Webber is investigated.
"Any time someone loses their life, it is a tragedy. So, as we keep our officers in our prayers, we also keep the family in our prayers,” said Rallings.
Director Rallings says the MPD is at Level 3 right now. This means there will be no days off for officers, extra patrols in Frayser and officers will ride two to a squad car.