North Memphis, Tenn., was in chaos Wednesday night after U.S. Marshals Service officers shot and killed a 20-year-old black man, Brandon Webber, in his family’s front yard. The killing quickly rippled through the community, leading to clashes between protesters and police that ended in tear gas being deployed.
Videos and photos from the streets of Frayser, a neighborhood about five miles north of downtown Memphis, show protesters hurling insults and throwing rocks at officers in riot gear. One video shows a couple of men smashing a police car with a chair.
“Let me be clear—the aggression shown towards our officers and deputies tonight was unwarranted,” Memphis mayor Jim Strickland said in a statement early Thursday morning
According to Strickland, multiple police cars were vandalized and at least 24 officers and deputies were injured as a result of the protest, though the Daily Memphian reports that none were injured seriously. Some members of the press say they were also attacked by the crowd, reports the Washington Post.
The protest was broken up by 11 p.m. after police used tear gas on protesters; a rainstorm also drove people back into their homes. Police arrested three people involved in the demonstrations, reports MSN.
“Every time a young man is shot by law enforcement, the community mourns and it’s a constant reminder of the mistrust the black community has for police,” State Rep. London Lamar (D-Tenn.) told The Root. “We don’t know the facts yet, but there are many people in Memphis hurting.”
The angry confrontation between hundreds of residents and police was sparked by the police-involved shooting of Webber. According to police, the young man had multiple felony warrants out for his arrest. At around 7 p.m. Wednesday night, the Marshal Service’s Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force was attempting to get Webber into custody when they spotted him exiting his car outside of his family’s home, the Memphian reports.
“While attempting to stop the individual,” the Tennesee Bureau of Investigations wrote, “he reportedly rammed his vehicle into the officers’ vehicles multiple times before exiting with a weapon. The officers fired striking and killing the individual. No officers were injured.”
The Memphian notes that the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, which is investigating Webber’s death since it involves law enforcement, didn’t release any details about the shooting until 3:30 a.m., more than eight hours after the shooting.
Citing the ongoing investigation, a TBI spokeswoman did not answer questions about the alleged weapon or if one was recovered, CNN reports.
Local politicians are calling for a full and transparent investigation into Webber’s death.
“The Frayser community is comprised of good, hard-working people who love their community,” said State Rep. Antonio Parkinson (D-Tenn.) in a statement posted to his Instagram account.
“The community wants answers into tonight’s incident,” he said. “We are asking for calm and restraint by all and complete transparency in the investigation of tonight’s officer-involved shooting.”