The city of Memphis has been up in arms after protests sparked following the killing of Brandon Webberby police.
Officials told NBC News that Webber was killed during an encounter with the United States Marshals Service’s Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force Wednesday.
According to John Champion, the district attorney for the 17th Circuit Court District of Mississippi, Webber was wanted for aggravated assault, armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery.
The 20-year-old arranged on Facebook to meet a 24-year-old in Hernando, Mississippi, under the guise that he wanted to purchase his red G35 Infinity, Champion told the news outlet. He asked for a test drive “and as our victim got out of the passenger seat from the test drive, he went around the back of the car, where Mr. Webber met him with a pistol and shot him five times,” Champion said.
The victim is expected to survive, but Webber had stolen his vehicle and taken off. His alleged accomplice followed behind him in another car.
A manhunt ensued, with warrants being issued for Webber’s arrest five days after the carjacking on June 8. Since Webber crossed state lines into Tennessee, U.S. Marshals Task Force got involved.
Before the task force descended on him, Webber posted a since-removed Facebook Live video remarking, in part, “They gonna have to catch me homie. Ima do they ass so bad.”
Once the marshals saw Webber in Memphis, he allegedly rammed them with his vehicle and is said to have been wielding a gun.
In a statement issued by the marshals, they explained what occurred next.
“The Marshals were attempting to serve a warrant on a 20-year-old man with multiple felony warrants,” it read. “In response to a threat posed by the subject, members of the task force fired their weapons, striking and killing him.”
Following Webber’s killing, protesters poured out in the streets of Memphis and tossed rocks and bricks. Police donned riot gear and blocked off areas of the neighborhood where the unrest occurred and arrested three people, The Associated Press reported. Police Director Michael Rallings said that tear gas was used to disperse protesters by 11 p.m.
In total, 36 officers were injured, according to police.
Rallings urged residents to wait until the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, completed its investigation. He also asked anyone there to abstain from violence and avoid spreading potential false information about the shooting and killing of Webber.
“I need everyone to stay calm,” he said.
However, Rev. Andre E. Johnson said he was standing among the protesters when authorities deployed tear gas. He told the AP he did not hear any order from police for protesters to disband. Johnson also explained that at first, people were upset because they did not know why marshals were looking to apprehend Webber.
“The problem with it is they feel that police and the administration and city officials do not treat them as humans,” he said hours before a Mississippi prosecutor revealed the allegations against Webber. “That’s what it really boils down to: You are not worthy of an explanation.”
Photo Credit: The Guardian